Of wolves and moose

A few weeks ago, a friend urged me to check Return of the Wolf on amazon​.ca “Right now!”

Oops,” I thought. “Some info in the product de­tails must be wrong. And then a sick fore­bod­ing – maybe someone had pos­ted a dread­ful review?

I quickly googled the page and was baffled to see or­ange text pro­claim­ing #1 in Bestseller in Wildlife un­der the title. It took few minutes for the sig­ni­fic­ance to sink in.

I let out a little shriek and im­me­di­ately emailed the link to friends and fam­ily.  At the time I wasn’t sure if rat­ings were based on hits or ac­tu­al pur­chases. I now know it’s the lat­ter. And that rat­ings are re­con­figured hourly.

A little later in the day I googled amazon​.ca and saw that Wolf had slipped to #2. Okay, so I’d had my fif­teen minutes of fame. And to keep things in per­spect­ive, a moose cal­en­dar was #4.

Wolves and moose have a long re­la­tion­ship as pred­at­or and prey. Researchers have wit­nessed single wolves take down an adult moose so it can be done.

But most wolves tackle the 360 to 450 kg (8001,000 pound) un­gu­lates as part of a pack. Even then, it’s es­tim­ated that they’re only suc­cess­ful one to nine per­cent of the time.

It’s dan­ger­ous too as the moose may kick or stomp a wolf with its sharp hooves, bat­ter it with its heavy antlers or use them to flip the can­id end over end.

So, when it comes to a phys­ic­al con­front­a­tion, a healthy adult moose is more than a cap­able match for a lone wolf or even a pack.

But how do wolves and moose fare when it comes to hu­man emo­tions? I’d nev­er thought about it un­til I saw the an­im­als so closely linked on the amazon​.ca best­seller list.

For a couple of weeks I ran­domly checked Return of the Wolf’s status on amazon. The book slipped down to #8 and then ping-ponged to #157 and back up to #22 with nu­mer­ous stops in between. And through it all, the moose cal­en­dar held steady at #4.

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