WOLFPACK-HOAX2

There’s a rumor going on about this very simple piece of narration starring a pack of wolves.

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A wolf pack: the first 3 are the old or sick, they give the pace to the entire pack. If it was the other way round, they would be left behind, losing contact with the pack. In case of an ambush they would be sacrificed. Then come 5 strong ones, the front line. In the center are the rest of the pack members, then the 5 strongest following. Last is alone, the alpha. He controls everything from the rear. In that position he can see everything, decide the direction. He sees all of the pack. The pack moves according to the elders pace and help each other, watch each other

This paragraph brings up the idea of making readers empathize with the wolves, and animals in general, by giving human traits to them. However, the described pack behaviour is factually inaccurate.

The actual information has been misconstrued from a post of the official BBC Earth page. The picture is taken from said site as well. As you can read, none of the above references about sickness or animal behaviour are made in the original narration.

A massive pack of 25 timberwolves hunting bison on the Arctic circle in northern Canada. In mid-winter in Wood Buffalo National Park temperatures hover around -40C. The wolf pack, led by the alpha female, travel single-file through the deep snow to save energy. The size of the pack is a sign of how rich their prey base is during winter when the bison are more restricted by poor feeding and deep snow. The wolf packs in this National Park are the only wolves in the world that specialise in hunting bison ten times their size. They have grown to be the largest and most powerful wolves on earth.

From where I am standing, it is possibile to assume this to be the work of a man, or a woman, with a strong appreciation for animals in general. Appreciation, however, is not a synonym of “being absolutely right”.

While this can be defined as a rather harmless hoax, the idea that this piece full of wrong information will be shared by thousands of people makes me cringe. It cannot even be remotely shared as a fable, or an allegory for the human condition. In my opinion, if the basis for the fable builds around false information, there is no reason why you should share it.

But then again, Pandora opened the vase anyway.

The Ninth
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