Mowat later admitted to fabricating much of his story to gain acceptance and sympathy for the wolf. He did that in spades.
The specifics of the lies are mind boggling. Never spent time alone in the arctic, never published any scientific reports, didn't write the descriptions of wolves at play, simply plagiarized from Adolph Murie one of the worlds great wolf researchers now passed away. He didn't just lift ideas, he did a cut and paste.
One reviewer wrote.
It takes a special sort of person to endure the frozen wilderness to study arctic wolf behavior at length, and to accept that these beautiful animals are intelligent and amazing killing machines that don't need to fulfill people's desires to view them as non-threatening mouse-eaters. Apparently Mr. Mowat just isn't that special sort of person-- but he is a liar.
The greatest lie was that wolves live mostly on small rodents, when every wolf researcher in the world knows wolves eat large prey. Caribou, moose, elk, deer, even beaver for the rich fat supplies, but living on rodents, pure fiction.
Door to our trailer. Entire camp was on skids and would move ever other day or so to keep up with our walking. Fuel trailers in foreground.
Never cry wolf was one of the last books I read by Mowatt. First I read People of the Deer, then And no Birds Sang, and then The Desperate People. Two of the books were about the people we call Eskimos but I think they call themselves something different. Not Inuit, not First Nations People. They live above tree line up past Great Slave Lake in Canada and Mowat told a beautiful heart wrenching tales of desperation and starvation. All that is ruined now as I've no idea if any of it is true.
I have been in some unusual places and seen some unusual things, and I tell of them. But I always try to be as true to my memory and as true to the people who were there as possible. I wish Farley had done the same.
One can tell of the beauty of an animal such as the gray wolf without embellishment.
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