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Since pre-Roman times, the wolf has unjustly served as a symbol for evil and rapaciousness - a creature that could only have been created in the wilds of the human mind. This is the animal of myth and folklore found guarding Dracula's castle and lurking in the forests of Little Red Riding Hood. In reality, wolves possess an innate fear of the human species, and are extremely difficult to ever see in the wild. A wolf is much more likely to see (and be hiding from) a person than the individual has reason to hide from a wolf.
While people have long been imparting wolves with the very worst – and at times the very best – of human traits, wolves have simply and instinctively been performing their biological role, being what scientists refer to as a keystone species. In the article Debunking Myths previously featured in Wolf Tracks magazine (Fall 2011), wolf management specialist Carter Niemeyer tackles some of commonly held misconceptions that are held about wolves, the misunderstood animal.