The Power Of The Wolf
When wolves hunt, their behavior indicates that a great deal of forethought and problem solving ability is involved. For example, they use social cooperation to conduct and perhaps “plan” coordinated attacks. When running into a herd of prey, they continuously test the animals and make decisions on which single animal they eventually will kill. They test them by smell, scattering the herd and looking for weaknesses, and sometimes by waiting. After scattering a herd, wolves may stand and watch their prey, waiting for a weak individual to reveal itself. Once a lone animal is selected, the wolves may chase it only so far. During this pursuit, the wolves must decide to either continue their attack or call if off. Their decision is based on many factors. Does the animal turn and fight? Is there an apparent weakness such as injury or illness? They must also judge the degree of danger involved. Is there risk of injury? Is it worth the risk? A hungry wolf may decide that it is. A wolf’s life, however, is a hard one. Food is not always available and perhaps great risks are taken often to obtain it. Apparently, these are calculated risks. Unnecessary confrontations are usually avoided. An injury in the wild can be the same as death - it just takes longer. Wolves, therefore, need to be good problem solvers and have the ability to anticipate many dangerous situations.