Wolves around London
When the darkness is falling and there is not much to see with the eye anymore, shadows start to move on the edge of the marsh. Silent and limber, light cheeks glowing hollowly through the twilight. Time of the wolf.
The photo was sent to the Year of the Wolf photo contest by Tarmo Mikusaar.
Although Maris Kruuse with her cousin Liis heard wolves howling near the London farmstead in Alam-Pedja in 2008, she has not returned to the place after this extraordinary event. “The children are little right now and I am only able to go to the forest alone once or twice a year,“ was said by Maris Kruuse who received the prize of Loodusesõber magazine for wolf tales. „But the right way to go to the forest is definitely alone, because you will not see any animals if you are talking to another person.“ Maris, who is currently a PhD candidate in geoinformatics, received the knowledge that the right way to go to the forest is alone in the Estonian University of Life Sciences when Tiit Randveer became her supervisor. “Tiit Randveer took me to the forest where I was supposed to study the density of elk population – counting crottels. I discovered then that it is proper to go to the forest alone - then you can also see the animals.“ That time when Maris was hiking in London, she brought together her cousin who was studying forestry and they were brave enought together to hike in a rather wild place where they were rewarded by hearing the howling of wolves.
Although seeing wolves in nature is what is considered to be especially rare, hearing the „wolf tales“ which the girls managed to do is extraordinary enough.
Maris Kruuse at the final of the Year of the Wolf in the Estonia Concert Hall in December 2013
Photo by Mats Kangur
Wolves of London
In the summer of 2008 my cousin and I went to a canoe trip in the Alam-Pedja nature reserve. We went onto river Pedja in Jüriküla in the morning and by moving slowly and admiring the nature we reached Pede river by the evening and our lodging near the London farmstead. We were just busy setting up the tent - the sun was already setting – when we heard a wolf howl from the other side of the river. We stopped what we were doing and went to the river to be able to hear better. The first wolf was accompanied by a second, then third ... There could have been about three or four of them. I cannot say how near or far from us the wolves were but the howling was clear and loud. The sounds struck us with awe and sent shivers down the spine. We considered us to be strong in theory and we knew well that at least in Estonia the wolf does not attack a human, let alone in the summer, but we were rather glad that there were some fishermen on that same camping site – being just the two of us could have even been slightly scary.
Wolf researcher Ilmar Rootsi`s comment:
There is no doubt that these were wolves. Evening is just the time when wolves love to howl, as well as early hours of the morning, very rarely during daytime. And we had a wolf pack in Alam-Pedja that year.
The story was published in the magazine „Loodusesõber“.