Living with wolves: Shaun Ellis

An endangered gray wolf peers out from a snow covered shelter
An endangered gray wolf peers out from a snow covered shelter | Source

About Shaun Ellis

Shaun Ellis is an English animal researcher and wolf expert, known for studying wild wolves and living among them since 1990. He spent years integrating himself in packs of wolves at wildlife parks and has been in different research projects in Poland and United States trying to reintroduce wolves in Great Britain, where they disappeared centuries ago.

Founder of Wolf Pack Management at Combe Martin Wildlife Park in North Devon, he worked with captive wolves, using his senses of smell and sound to better interact with the animals.
In 2005, he lived with three orphaned wolf pups for 18 months teaching them wild wolf behavior including how to howl.

Believing that wolves are very intelligent and instinctive animals with a solid hierarchy he tried to understand their communication and interact with them through body language and vocalisation.

Using their own methods of communication, he also participated in experiences trying to make the wolves stay away from areas where they would be in conflict with humans. The experience tried to make wolves believe that the area was already claimed by another pack, using recorded howls.

Throughout his work, he published several books and participated in diverse documentaries about wolves. The most well-known of these programs "A Man Among Wolves" documents his experiment of raising abandoned captive pups and teaching them how to behave like wolves.

He now works in the Wolf and Dog Research & Education Centre, where he runs courses and seminars about wolves and dogs behavior and communication.

David Mech

Critics

The International Wolf Center criticized Ellis, along with his program Man among Wolves, for its sensationalism. For David Mech, what Ellis does with wolves is not science, he considers him neither a scientist nor an expert on the natural behavior of wolves. Denise Taylor, the executive director of the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, also criticized his methods.

Gallery about wolves

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Howling adult wolfAn American Bison being attacked Farmer Ilmari Takkala and "the last wolf in Central Finland" he killed in Karstula in 1911The Gibbon wolf pack pauses in the snowy landscape.
Howling adult wolf
Howling adult wolf | Source
An American Bison being attacked
An American Bison being attacked | Source
Farmer Ilmari Takkala and "the last wolf in Central Finland" he killed in Karstula in 1911
Farmer Ilmari Takkala and "the last wolf in Central Finland" he killed in Karstula in 1911 | Source
The Gibbon wolf pack pauses in the snowy landscape.
The Gibbon wolf pack pauses in the snowy landscape. | Source

Teaching a wolf cub to howl

Shaun Ellis, animal researcher notable for living with wolves, gives a wolf pup his first lesson in communication.

Choosing a dog pet

Shaun Ellis gives advice on domestic dogs and how to choose the right puppy for your family.

Other wolf researchers

There are a considerable number of people interested in wolf research and protection. I only include here two videos that show other wolf experts than Shaun Ellis and David Mech already mentioned above.

living with wolves BBC documentary 2016

For more than 20 years, Jim and Jamie Dutcher have focused their lives on the study and documentation of wolf behavior.


Another Wolfman

The Wolfman - The diary of Paul Balenovic - BBC

The life story of Paul Balenovic relationship with a wolf pack. Documentary filmed in and around Zagreb and the Velebit Mountains in Croatia. By BBC Natural History Unit

Endangered wolf species

Wolf species decreased about one-third around the world. Persecution by humans and wilderness spaces becoming too small are the most common threats to wolf conservation.

The species now receives legal protection in many countries and there are efforts to wolf reintroduction in areas where they had disappeared .

Wolf geographical distribution

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Historical (red) and modern (green) range of wild subspecies of Canis lupusApproximate geographical range of the Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus).
Historical (red) and modern (green) range of wild subspecies of Canis lupus
Historical (red) and modern (green) range of wild subspecies of Canis lupus | Source
Approximate geographical range of the Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus).
Approximate geographical range of the Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus). | Source
The Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) is a subspecies of grey wolf that inhabits the forest and plains of northern Portugal and northwestern Spain.
The Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) is a subspecies of grey wolf that inhabits the forest and plains of northern Portugal and northwestern Spain. | Source

More info and protection sites

Wolf’s distribution range has been greatly reduced worldwide in the past century and this situation has motivated great efforts by conservation groups, devoted to study and protect the Wolf. You can visit some of these sites:

International Wolf Center Ely, Minnesota

Grupo Lobo, Portugal

More by this Author


Comments 4 comments

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

I can tell you that wolves cover a lot more territory than your maps show.


Margaridab profile image

Margaridab 6 years ago from Lyon, France Author

I don't know much about it, those are maps from wikipedia and I thought they were correct. You are welcome to tell more about it if you want. :)


unknown, 6 years ago

well, i love this website cus i have to readurch shaun ellis at school and its gave me a lot-.- thankkuuu


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 5 years ago from Indonesia

Wow !, living with those animals must be an awesome life. I wish I had the chance to do that.

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