Some think that Shaun Ellis’s head does not work at all well. Others believe that it is an eccentric and that its goal is simply to attract attention. There are also those who admire and feel that their life is inspiring and poetic, a true exaltation of that instinctive friendship that must exist between the human being and his environment.
Shaun Ellis became famous in the world after the National Geographic magazine made a documentary about his life among wolves. Let it be known, he is the only adult human that voluntarily went to live with them until becoming part of their community. In fact, the wolves assumed him as the alpha male of the herd.
“They have called me bizarre, neurotic or foolish and have said that what I am doing does not make sense. ‘Animals do not need a human to teach them how to behave’. Many of these critics are generally misinformed about my intentions.”
Many scientists, especially biologists, have severely questioned the experience of Shaun Ellis. This is because the purpose of approaching the wolves does not respond to research work. Simply, he loves these animals and wanted to introduce himself in his world to know them in depth.
There are some cases of children who have been raised with wolves or other species, cases of children who were abandoned and, later, accepted in a herd. These examples are always surprising and it is fascinating to see how the human could be accepted and become ‘one more’. But when we think of adult humans, the only name that, for now, comes to mind is that of Shaun Ellis. How could an adult man enter a pack of wolves?
The love for the wolves
Shaun Ellis was born in England in 1964. Since he was a child, he was attracted to wolves. He began to study the subject in a self-taught way and, the more he learned, the more curious he was. The first time he saw a wolf was behind bars, in a zoo. He says it was love at first sight.
Ellis continued his life, always maintaining his love for the subject. He became a soldier in the special forces of Great Britain. Meanwhile, whenever he could he went into the woods at night to record videos of wolves. Just contemplating them gave him great satisfaction.
Shaun Ellis got married and was the father of five children; however, he devoted more time to the wolves than to his own family. At first, his wife did not see this hobby as a problem, but, over time, he got fed up. Therefore, he left Ellis and went with his children leaving only Shaun.
The revealing journey of Shaun Ellis
Shaun Ellis started working as a volunteer in captive wolf centers, but this was not enough for him, he could not please his need to get close to them. Thus, he thought that the best way to get to know these animals was by approaching them in their natural environment. It was then that he decided to go to the Nez Perce Park in Idaho, United States.
There, he lived with local Indians and learned what they knew about wolves. He also began to approach these animals little by little. He wanted to be accepted as one of their own, but it was not easy, the task lasted 8 months. One day, the wolves gave him a small bite on the knee, he knew that was a gesture of welcome and he felt truly excited.
Against all odds, Shaun Ellis began to live with the wolves and they ended up accepting him. He ate the same raw meat that they ate; Sometimes, they urinated it before he tasted it. Misunderstandings were not lacking and that brought him some blows and bites. According to him, he learned the language of howls. This coexistence was maintained for 18 months.
The return and a new chapter
Shaun Ellis had a hard time returning to the world of humans. Seven months passed before he felt comfortable again with his kind. Later, he published a book on the language of wolves and later went to the park Combe Martin, Devon (England), where, unexpectedly, he ran into three orphaned cubs that adopted as a mother.
How to raise three little wolves? Shaun Ellis put into practice everything he had learned in his living with the wolves, he did not want to domesticate them, but they learned to function in their own environment.
He spent a year and a half caring for the cubs, taught them to howl, fed them by feeding them with their own mouths; Later, he taught them how to hunt as he had learned. He also taught them discipline and hierarchy.
This small community made him his alpha male. When he thought the little wolves were ready, Ellis left them free to search for their own. Although he left his friends, he has never lost track of them completely. National Geographic magazine learned its history and made a documentary about it.
Several biologists around the world have expressed their annoyance about the techniques of Shaun Ellis. Seeing the documentary about his life, he was labeled as ‘sensationalist’. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that it is a controversial character and that more than one person put his hands to his head when he learned his story. But what no one can deny is the enormous effort that this man has made to empathize with the animals he admires most.