• Christopher G. Moore

The Big Bad Wolf: Who’s Your Daddy?

The Chiang Mai community, after nearly six weeks, will be able to sleep soundly tonight. The big bad wolf is behind bars once again. Little Red Riding Hood can make her rounds without looking over her shoulder. Immigration has checked to Canadian Grey Wolf’s visa. He has overstayed. Whether he will be transferred to immigration jail is up in the air at this writing. Officials at the Canadian Embassy have refused to comment. While Canadian nationality has been attributed to the Grey Wolf, authorities question whether this wolf which ranges from Alaska, Canada, Northern United States and Russia indeed can claim Canadian nationality.

For purposes of this article, we will stick with the Thai declaration that while other grey wolf’s might have other nationalities, the ones (there are six altogether) at the Night Safari are Canadians.

The Canadian Grey Wolf, which escaped from Night Safari in Chiang Mai, had been in hiding, coming out to feed on chickens and pets of the local farmers. Apparently the Canadian credentials of this wolf are in doubt. It appears the wolf (his name has been withheld by authorities) came from the Czech Republic. How the Canadian Grey Wolf immigrated to the Czech Republic, and then to Thailand, is under option as a CTV movie of the week. The Chiang Mai part of the film has a lot of action scenes with local farmers with wooden staves searching the bush.

Has anyone tested the Grey Wolf who has been dining on local chickens for bird flu? The photo which ran in the Nation (it isn’t on their website) and the Bangkok Post (again photo online has been withheld) shows a laid back wolf (he apparently has relatives in British Columbia). The effects of the dart gun are wearing off. There is no indication that the Canadian Grey Wolf has received any counseling for the trauma of being hunted, chased and darted. Again officials at the Canadian Embassy have refused to comment on whether this is a violation of certain universal rights, which under the Canadian constitution apply to wolves as well as human beings.

In an earlier Nation story, the head zookeeper pleaded with the local population not to hurt the wolf. A Baht 10,000 reward was offered for the capture of the wolf alive.

In an exclusive to the Bangkok Post, it was revealed that zoo authorities had “ordered that it be quarantined for rabies watch after a veterinarian confirmed it had had a sexual encounter with a local dog.” We don’t have the details of that encounter. Whether it was a wolf pickup joint the wolf had headed to after his escape remains unanswered. Wikipedia does explain: “During the mating season, breeding wolves become extremely affectionate with one another…” Hopefully if there are proceedings arising out of this encounter, the authorities will be taking evidence of whether the escapee had bolted during the “mating season.”

As with many local stories, it is doubtful if readers will enjoy the follow up stories as to whether the wolf and local dogs are exchanging correspondence, whether their lawyers are exchanging correspondents, or whether they’ve gotten over it and moved on.

Anyway, back to the main story…

Fifty zookeepers were marshaled in the hunt for the elusive wolf. When asked why the community hadn’t been notified that wolf was on the loose, officials were quoted as saying that the wolf was “tame” and wouldn’t hurt anyone. Everyone knows that Canadians are relatively mild, even passive though we can hardly pass up a stray chicken that crosses our path.

There are rumors that Canadian authorities are looking into a technical exchange program with the Night Safari to learn their techniques in taming a Grey Wolf. As this has considerable commercial potential in Canada, where a fairly large market exist for the sale of tame wolves. Americans like this kind of animal. They get a lot of face in places like New York City where everyone else is walking a poodle.

Earlier rumors circulated in the local press that the escaped animal was not a wolf but two hyenas. This caused alarm among the inhabitants of Chiang Mai who know full well that while you might maintain your sang froid in the face of a tame Canadian Grey Wolf, the prospect of confronting two hungry and untamed hyenas could result in injury.

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