Shaun Ellis (wolf researcher)

Shaun Ellis (wolf researcher)

Shaun Ellis is a British animal researcher who is notable for living among wolves, and even "adopting" a pack of abandoned North American timber wolf cubs. He was the subject of an Aqua Vita Films documentary called "A Man Among Wolves". It has been shown on the National Geographic Channel in the United States of America (U.S.), and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) version of the film entitled "The Wolfman" has been shown on Five.

The documentary shows how, by carefully mimicking wolf behaviour, Ellis was able to raise a pack of three wolf cubs to maturity in a nature reserve in Devon, becoming the pack's alpha male.

His expertise brought him to the attention of a Polish farmer, whose livestock had suffered wolf attacks. Since wolves are a protected species in Poland the farmer hoped that Ellis might be able to find some non-violent way to deter the marauding pack. Ellis travelled to Poland to study the local pack, bringing with him audio recordings of wolf howls.

Ellis believed that if the local wolves heard howls coming from the farm they would believe another pack had already claimed it as their territory, and keep clear to avoid a conflict. In order for this to work Ellis had to determine the size of the pack and play back recordings of a similar-sized pack. Initial results were encouraging; in the first few weeks after the farmer began playing the recordings the farm suffered no further attacks.

Returning to Devon, Ellis attempted to reintegrate himself with the three wolves. In his absence the wolves had established a new hierarchy, and though they recognised Ellis and welcomed him back he was now the pack's omega, relegated to a peace-keeping role between the new alpha and beta males.

Tigress Productions is currently in the process of filming a documentary about Ellis. Its working title is 'Living with the Wolf Man' and will be shown on five later in the year.



External links

* [ BBC Interview with Shaun in 2004]
* [ Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park, "Where Shaun's Wolf enclosure is located"]
* [ Wolfpack Management the website owned by Shaun and his research team]

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