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Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat

Never Cry Wolf (original 1963; edition 1983)

by Farley Mowat

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1,859463,721 (4.09)1 / 238
Title:Never Cry Wolf
Authors:Farley Mowat
Info:Bantam USA (1983), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Natural History, Wolves, 1010CC

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Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat (1963)


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English (44)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All (46)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
How did I fail to read this book before now? Certainly I knew of it and that there was controversy about whether it was factual. But somehow I had neglected actually cracking open the pages. When I saw that it was one of the Canadian audiobooks my library's streaming service was highlighting for this special birthday year I decided it was time to remedy my dereliction.

Mowat tells a story of his journey on behalf of the Canadian Wildlife Service to study wolves in the subarctic and their responsibility for the cataclysmic fall in the number of caribou. Contrary to the then current thinking he found that the wolf pack he studied rarely killed caribou and instead much of their diet was small mammals such as mice and lemmings. He discovered that trappers and hunters were responsible for the slide in caribou numbers. He also saw that the family life of the wolf was quite social. There was a bachelor male who acted as "uncle" to the wolf cubs in addition to the mother and father. As well other wolves came to visit, something that astounded Mowat but was treated as commonplace by the resident Inuit. His book turned public opinion in favour of wolves and changed management practices such as offering bounties for wolves which resulted in wholescale poisoning of wolf packs (plus other animals).

If you read (or listen to) this book as a fictionalized amalgam of many researchers' findings written in a humourous and entertaining fashion in order to make a point then you will get out of it what Mowat wanted you to. On the other hand if you want every word to be true then you will be disappointed because, although Mowat did go to the north on a similar study, he did not go alone and he employs hyperbole with a heavy hand. ( )
  gypsysmom | Feb 26, 2017 |
Small book, easy read. Wolves are not bad. ( )
  ramon4 | Dec 5, 2016 |
I read this long time ago - not too long after the movie, I think. I do recall I liked it. Probably should read it again. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This book made me an advocate for all wildlife. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
Review: Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat.

I honestly like this book. The book is a mix of humor, misconceptions, and at times Mowat fumbles through misunderstood beliefs of wolf behavior, hunting practices, social animal group organization and parenting. Mowat was sent by the Government to the Canadian Artic to study and establish the facts against the artic wolf, by proving that it was a resolute and unflinching killer of caribou. I have always been interested in the lives and habitant of the wolf’s species ever since they wanted to bring the population back and some people went crazy over the issue but Mowat explains in the book how people are the only serious threat of the North and hunt the wolves down and kill them for all the wrong reasons…. Mowat discovered that a wolf generally feast on mice instead of deer…Mowat also experimented eating the same food that the wolves ate for several days. He even made up his own recipe’s….

Souris A’ La Crème

Ingredients: One dozen fat mice…. Salt and pepper
One cup white flour…. Cloves
One piece sowbelly…. Ethyl alcohol

(Sowbelly is normally only available in the Artic but salt pork can be substituted)

Skin and gut the mice, but do not remove the heads: wash, then place in a pot with enough alcohol to cover the carcasses. Allow to marinate for about two hours. Cut sowbelly into small cubes and fry slowly until most of the fat has been rendered. Now remove the carcasses from the alcohol and roll them in a mixture of salt, pepper and flour: then place in frying pan and sauté for about five minutes (being careful not to allow the pan to get too hot, or the delicate meat will dry out and become tough and stringy). Now add a cup of alcohol and six or eight cloves. Cover the pan and allow to simmer slowly for fifteen minutes. The cream sauce can be made according to any standard recipe. When the sauce is ready, drench the carcasses with it, cover and allow to rest in a warm place for ten minutes before serving.
(He has one for “dung”, but you’ll have to read the book for that one….)

The author himself was frighten and hesitant when he started his studies because he was going on myths. In this book he has a valid story to tell readers. The book is well written and informative. The book was written in 1963 but even before and after reading this book I believe wolves are beautiful animals and what he has written justifies that what people hear about wolves, 95 % of the time is not true….

Mowat starts his journey by being dropped off into the wilderness with all his supplies. He stayed in the same spot for a couple of days because he didn’t really know where to go. This was all new to him. It wasn’t long before he met two male Eskimo’s, Ootek and Mike. Mike owned a rough and ready cabin and some sled dogs. He didn’t spend much time around there so he allowed Mowat the use of the cabin to set up his equipment. Ootek was a minor shaman, or magic priest, in his own tribe. Ootek decided to attach himself to Mowat and the very next day he appeared at the wolf observation tent bringing with him his sleeping robe, and obviously prepared for a long visit. Mowat figured Ootek wanted to enlarge his own knowledge of the esoteric practices of his vocation. Mowat was hesitant at first to let Ootex follow him around especially with a bad communication of languages between all three men. When Mike was around he translated some words back and forth between Mowat and Ootek so they learned to talk one word, here and there, to create some kind of contact between them…

Mowat’s studies of the wolves, environment, feeding habits, behaviors, breeding, parenting, how they communicated among other packs of wolves, how they got along with other animals of different species, and he studies also included how they were going to accept him. Mowat explains how he also took pleasure in watching them up close and he even thought the wolves were studying him. Most of the time he was observing one wolf family and became attached to them so he gave them names. There were “George”, “Angeline”, “Uncle Albert” and a litter of four pups…This is an amazing true story, heartwarming, adventurous, educational and well written
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
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It is a long way in time and space from the bathroom of my Grandmother Mowat's house in Oakville, Ontario, to the bottom of a wolf den in the Barren Lands of central Keewatin, and I have no intention of retracing the entire road which lies between.
The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316881791, Paperback)

More than a half-century ago the Canadian Wildlife Service assigned the naturalist Farley Mowat to investigate why wolves were killing arctic caribou. Mowat's account of the summer he lived in the frozen tundra alone-studying the wolf population and developing a deep affection for the wolves (who were of no threat to caribou or man) and for a friendly Inuit tribe known as the Ihalmiut ("People of the Deer")-is a work that has become cherished by generations of readers, an indelible record of the myths and magic of wild wolves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:34 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A biologist's official mission to study wolves turns up many unusual facts about their pattern of living.

(summary from another edition)

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