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Public perception of wolves has fluctuated enormously over time. In antiquity, wolves were widely beloved.

"Apollo takes pleasure in the wolf," said historian Aelian in about 200 A.D.

"That is why, at Delphi (in Greece), a bronze wolf statue is set up."

Over time, the image of the wolf has become somewhat tarnished. In North America, public opinion is split between those who admire wolves and those who despise them. There does not seem to be any middle ground, no compromise.

Historically, negative public opinion has been galvanized by Aesop fables, such as "The boy who cried wolf" and "The wolf and the lamb." In Grimms' Fairy Tales, a wolf eats Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother and then tries to ambush Little Red herself.

In "The wolf and seven young kids," a wolf kills and eats seven young goats, but they are liberated alive from the wolf's stomach by a resourceful mother goat.

In "The Three Little Pigs," a wolf kills and eats two pigs, but the third captures the wolf and kills it in boiling water.

Wolf-admirers stress the animal's good qualities, but there is a dark side to wolf behaviour and it seems to be worsening. Wolves are becoming habituated to humans, losing their natural fear. The result has been an intensifying frequency of wolf attacks on humans.

On Dec. 7, 2016, a wolf aggressively stalked a man at Mount Norquay, Alberta after killing his dog. On Oct. 8, 2016, 26-year-old Andrew Morgan was attacked by a wolf near Canmore, Alberta. On August 29, a young worker was attacked at the Cigar Lake Mine in Saskatchewan.

In June, 2016, officers shot a wolf at Banff National Park because it was harassing park visitors.

Unprovoked wolf attacks on humans are increasing. In 2015, wolves attacked two families on snowmobiles at Labrador City. In 2013, a pack of wolves attacked Michelle Prosser at Merritt, B.C. and William Hollan was attacked by wolves while cycling in the Yukon.

Ontario wolf attacks include: a three-year-old girl attacked in 2010 in Lake Superior Provincial Park, Patricia Wyman killed by wolves in Haliburton in 1996, three men killed by a wolf pack near Thunder Bay in 1922, and two women killed near Perth in 1856, while looking for cattle.

A 2002 study confirms there have been 80 confirmed wolf attacks on people in North America in the past 100 years, including 39 by healthy aggressive wolves, 29 cases of unprovoked predatory attack
and 12 instances of attacks by rabid wolves.

Wildlife biologists suggest that outdoor enthusiasts use extreme caution in areas known to be inhabited by wolves, especially in winter when natural food is scarce. Wolves naturally prefer to hunt quarry that are larger than themselves.

Source: Orillia Today