Hanta Yo . . . Villian or Victim
By: Jan Longshore
A beautiful, sensitive, spirited wolf, named Hanta Yo, resides at Wolf People Facility. His name means “Clear the Way” in Lakota. He loves colorful clothing so people are warned to stay away from his enclosure, not to get too close to the fence. He has an extra-long, extra thin nose which allows him to better reach through the cyclone fencing.
Hanta is playful and his intent is only to have a new toy. Is it any different with some dogs? Playing tug of war with a rag or stealing a pillow or piece of clothing to turn into their own. Are they bad wolves or bad dogs…no. They are just doing what comes naturally.
Human error is usually the issue. Leave your pillow, shirt or blanket lying about or hold a rag up to a dog and some will try to claim it. Try to get too close to Hanta Yo with a colorful jacket or gloves and he’ll grab it and will clear the way, running away with it to play tug of war with his mate. The wolf handlers are respectful of Hanta Yo when they deal with him. No one wants to be left sitting on the ground naked while Hanta Yo races with gleeful abandonment around his enclosure with their clothing.
A few years ago, one lady didn’t listen to instructions and he grabbed her jacket. In doing so, he nipped her arm. Was he a villain? No! More a victim of the eagerness of the visitor. Wolf People have had only a couple of non-serious injuries to the multitude of visitors that have visited their wolves over the last 21 plus years. It’s amazing considering the number of dog bites that occurred during the same period. Both incidents were caused by human visitors not following the rules. If you visit the wolves at Wolf People, please follow the instructions so Hanta Yo and the pack continue to be known as gentle Ambassadors providing education as to the special qualities of wolves.