Last modified on April 27, 2017, at 15:54

Farley Mowat

Farley Mowat (born 1921) is a Canadian author and naturalist who achieved fame with books such as Never Cry Wolf and Lost in The Barrens. He has sold more than 14 million books and his works have been translated into more than 50 languages.

His book Never Cry Wolf details his arctic expedition, in which he discovered that "a good many scientifically established beliefs about wolves" were contradicted by his own observations. (NCW, page 85) Aided by two Eskimos named Mike and Ootek, he discovered that wolves were not responsible for the decimation of the Keewatin caribou herd. Human hunters shoot the big, healthy caribou, but wolves "eat the sick and the weak and the small caribou". (Page 85)

Rather than following the caribou in nomadic fashion, wolves remain within a marked-off territory. The female remains by the den with the cubs, while the male goes off at night to hunt. When caribou are not available, wolves can live on mice, ground squirrels and fish (such as jackfish or Northern pike).

  • When a wolf decides to go after them he jumps into one of the larger channels and wades upstream, splashing mightily as he goes, and driving the pike ahead of him into progressively narrower and shallower channels. Eventually the fish realizes its danger and turns to make a dash for open water; but the wolf stands in its way and one quick chop of those great jaws is enough to break the back of even the largest pike. (Page 83)

In his book, Mowat reported that his scientific superior had replaced another man who had been forced into retirement after explaining "his contention that there were fewer deer because the hunters had increased to the point where they outnumbered the deer about five to one." (Page 9)