As everyone who reads and comments knows, I love writing articles for my blog. My blog gives me joy and keeps me going.
This is an article I have put off writing, but I am doing so now because I feel that it is extremely important, as sad as it may be to write. I ask that everyone who sees this and is as sad as I am, shares or does something to commemorate the lives of these two wonderful creatures – even if it is just hugging your pet extra hard today.
I have written about HuskyRomi Rescue and Wolf Sanctuary before, here (it may be good to read this post before continuing, so I have set the link to open in a new window for you). It is ‘my’ Sanctuary so to speak – very close to my heart and one I support whenever I possibly can and in whichever way I can.
At the moment Husky Romi Sanctuary is home to over 200 wolves and huskies, all of whom are in enclosures apart from, until last week, two – Apache and Girl.
Larry tells the story from the point of view of the two wolves:
I want you to picture this in your mind, the sun is starting to set, a lone wolf is lying in the grass enjoying the warmth when suddenly a car pulls up near to her, she doesn’t trust people so she lies dead still hoping that she wasn’t seen, the climbs person climbs out of the car pulling out his rifle, while all this is going on a very young friendly wolf almost one year old is running up to say hello as he has no fear of people because people have always been friendly towards him and his greetings, the man looks at the female wolf through his sights just lying there, too scared to move, this is perfect he thinks to himself, this one will be easy, the last thing she ever hears in her life was that loud noise as the thing hit her in her shoulder, ripping her life out of her as it passes through, the young wolf who is now almost at the person hears the loud noise, it is a sound that he has never heard before but it frightens him, so he runs away from the person, but he is to close and hasn’t enough time to get away, as he is thinking of options he hears the same loud noise again as he feels the burning pain enter his back and race through his body before it explodes out of his chest, he manages to run another five meters before his life that was ripped out of him by the thing stops.
I felt the whole story unfold as I was up at the scene where this all took place.
How can somebody do this and still live with himself, how do we as people let them live amongst us, think about it, and why does he hide now, because he is not a man he is a coward.
Yes, at 18.15 last week, Monday 24th March 2013 to be exact, a man in a white truck drove into the sanctuary, right up to the house, shot Apache and Girl, and drove away. These animals were no threat to anyone and were right next to Larry’s house. Larry describes his pain thus:
I miss Apache so much, I miss the young wolf who would come from nowhere and grab my hand and walk with me holding on, the breathing as he walked around the house just to check if everything was alright then slink out again, watching him jumping into the bathtub that the rescued horses drink from, how he would sit in the middle of the horses just looking at them and not scaring them at all. I miss my little boy so much, every time I come home and he isn’t there to greet me I just sit and cry in the car, even as I type this now, I’m crying. Apache was only 10 months old (he would have been 11 months old tomorrow, 2nd April), and slept on Larry’s bed every single night.
As a photo tribute, I would like to post these photographs:
Larry about Girl: Girl, for those of you who never got to know her, was a very pleasant, quiet, shy wolf, who would not stay in an enclosure, she got out of everything in the beginning, so I just left her out to roam, she always hung around the house or would go up and watch the campers from a distance, she would follow people around but not let them touch her.
Girl and I would have many special moments together when no one else was around, if I went to the top of the farm she would come with me and we could have special times, whenever somebody would walk or ride down to the river she would tag along and swim in the river once you were there, always keeping her distance.
Girl had many adventures, once she was trapped on the other side of the river during the rainy season, Sasha would always go down and wait for her with meat, I followed Sasha the one day and found Girl on the other side, so I waded across and carried her back, to see the greeting that the two of them gave each other was incredible, the love they had for each other. Girl was trapped in a snare and lost a bit of her paw, I took her to the vet to be fixed up, the following day when I went to fetch her she was gone, the vet thought that I had already collected her, I went home worried as hell, an hour later she came limping across the field, she just came home.
The saddest thing of all is watching Sasha looking for her and then lying right were she fell as if she knows that that was her last place before she died, when you see this, your hatred for for hunters increases so much.
Last photos taken of Girl, a day or so before she was shot:
Larry says about Apache: Young Apache Timber wolf, named after his great grand father, Apache, they both have that old wolf look about them, Apache like his great grand father has a way with people, he know how to win over hearts in a jiffy, he is free roaming and lives down at the house, he was removed from the enclosure when he was only three weeks old after somebody had crushed his nose, his growth plates were damaged so he will always have an over bite as his upper jaw won’t grow as fast as his lower jaw, he is very good with all the animals, you will often find him sitting amongst the horses, just watching them.
Their final resting place: This is Girl and Apache’s final resting place, I buried them together because Apache hadn’t celebrated his first birthday yet, so he needs somebody wise to be with him in his next journey.
Whatever your feelings about anything wolf-related, shooting two tame wolves in a registered wolf sanctuary is not on, so please share and forward so that we can find this man and bring him to justice. There is a reward – a quite considerable one – which may go up to R15 000 if the bullets are found.
These photos are not my own. They are from the Husky Romi Group. Larry, my heart goes out to you at this sad time. My thoughts are with you and I hope you find the person who did this.