The Christian Science Monitor

Can Idaho wolves shed their 'big bad' reputation?

Today, all is calm in Víctor Alberto Rupay Dorregaray’s flock. From his camp, the sheep are barely discernible dots among the sage grass as they munch their way across a nearby hillside. A large guard dog meanders through the band of sheep, with his white, fluffy coat making him blend in among his charges. But just a week earlier, things weren’t so quiet.

The first sign of trouble came as a yelp from one of the band’s three guard dogs. It sounded like a wolf’s jaws were wrapped around the dog’s throat as it struggled to sound the alarm, Mr. Dorregaray says. The herder leaped into action, grabbing a noisemaker and running toward the sound. The blare of an air horn filled the air, and the startled wolf took off. The dog was fatally injured, but the sheep survived to see another day. And so did the wolf.

The image of wolves as “big bad” has been seared into our collective consciousness, forever branded by nursery rhymes

A global challenge on a local stageEstablishing a culture of coexistence

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