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The Demonising of Wolves by Animal Planet
By Richard Brock
22 July 2014

Man-Eating Super Wolves by Animal Planet

The wolf has had a bad press ever since the Little Red Riding Hood story broke…

“However, pressure from concerned citizens can sometimes make a radical difference. In May 2013, Animal Planet started promoting a new program called Man-Eating Super Wolves with this description: “Razor sharp teeth, killer instinct, and senses so precise they hear your beating heart, and your fear. They’re on the hunt, and now with numbers growing out of control, they’re threatening humans like never before.”

The environmental community was outraged. Jamie Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife, told me, “At first I was so shocked. I actually thought it was a joke.” She described it as “reprehensible on so many levels.” In a letter to her members demanding that Animal Planet take the show off the air immediately, she wrote, “Animal Planet has sadly joined the legions of wolf-haters waging war on our struggling wolves…(It) is airing a lurid, factually absurd, and shameful special…(which) portrays wolves as bloodthirsty killing machines…This is pure tabloid sensationalism and just plain wrong…This despicable distortion of reality could not come at a worse time for wolves. Wolf-haters have mounted extermination efforts in Idaho and elsewhere, threatening to reverse two decades of hard-won progress for one of America’s most beloved wild animals.” Clark called the program a “shoddy tabloid pseudo-documentary.”

Criticism from the International Wolf Center, renowned wolf expert David Mech, and many others led Animal Planet to cancel the program, showing that public pressure on broadcasters can work.” (Excerpt from Chris Palmer’s upcoming book Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker.)

Except on 21st July 2014 Discovery’s Animal Planet showed that same wolf program at 10pm in Britain. And where else on world TV will they continue to desecrate wild animals in this way?

Man-Eating Super Wolves - Sibera Hunter
Discovery Promo Picture - Man-Eating Super Wolves - Sibera Hunter

I watched it and here are some comments: … Based entirely on a false premise of there being insufficient natural prey causing wolves to attack humans. Not so… Claimed to be a “Special” = especially bad for the wolf… Huge exaggeration of a few selected over-dramatised cases (apparently)… Grotesque (undisclosed) reconstructions, unconvincingly, peppered with sub-standard amateur footage of snarling wolves… Endless, relentless “fang TV”… Frequent “deadly”, with emotive music stimulating American predilection for attack and aggression… Will do as much harm to wolves as Jaws has done to sharks, what the Benchley’s so regretted, as, surely, Animal Planet will, in this production which degrades the producers, the cameramen and all the wretched team that made it.

Man-Eating Super Wolves - Sibera Hunter
Discovery Promo Picture - Man-Eating Super Wolves - Sibera Hunter

I have made several films on wolves, as they are. For the BBC Natural History Unit, we made The Wolf Saga about the last female (with pups) killed in Sweden. Since then numbers have increased by helping farmers and educating the public. The situation is still very bad in next-door Norway whose farmers lose hundreds of sheep in the winter weather, but if one wolf kills one, probably dying, sheep, that wolf brings out the worse primitive revenge from a country considered to be very civilised. Animal Planet’s Man-Eating Super Wolves will only inflame that attitude if their very misleading lie is shown there. Since leaving the BBC, I’ve filmed Wolves across Europe – from Portugal and Spain to France and Italy, on eastwards to Scandinavia, Estonia and Russia. Apart from the wretched Norwegians, and despite despicable Animal Planet, wolves are now being accepted in nearly every European country. Indeed, they are seen as a tourist attraction in countries that need that income, such as Romania, a stronghold of wolves and bears in Europe. I also filmed there.

Man-Eating Super Wolves - Sibera Hunter
Discovery Promo Picture - Man-Eating Super Wolves - Wolf Pelts

If Animal Planet gets a People’s Award at Wildscreen this year, it should be for the most obscene two-faced (self-censored) and anti-wildlife show ever seen on world television.

Brock Initiative and Living Planet Productions

Comment below or contact: Richard Brock

See the following articles:
Defender of Wildlife - Public Outcry Prompts Animal Planet to Remove “Man-Eating Super Wolves” Show

EcoWatch - ‘Man-Eating Super Wolves’ Episode Prompts Public Outcry Against Animal Planet
Exposing the Big Game - Animal Planet Cancels Man-Eating Super Wolves Show

Kids4Wolves - "Man Eating Super Wolves" Don't believe everything you see on TV.
All-Creatures - Animal Planet Cancels Man-Eating Super Wolves Show An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org
Howl Colorado - Animal Planet to air horrifically inaccurate special: “Man-Eating Super Wolves”

Also see this viewer video: My Evaluation of Man Eating Super Wolves and Zombie Cats from Tessa Wild

If you'd like to make your own mind up, the film can be rented here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KREBSava7ZU

Alternatively see it here (not endorsed by us but available should you wish to watch it there).

NB. The show starts with this disclaimer: "The following program contains content that is speculative. Wolves are a revered species that rarely attack humans."

Visit: brockinitiative.org & facebook.com/brockinitiative & twitter.com/brockinitiative

Brock Initiative and Living Planet Productions

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