This week on AK we come face-to-face with Wolves. We’ll go behind the scenes at an organization raising awareness about wolves, take a look at predator control, and learn the legend of Hairy Man. Plus, putting the Boy Who Cried Wolf on trial, and they say it’s news when “man bites dog”; in Alaska these days, it’s more like “wolf bites dog.” Find out why, this week on AK, from APRN.
The Big Bad Wolf
Wolves and people have a long and varied history together — you only have to look as far as children’s fairy tales to see that.
Wolfsong of Alaska
“Wolfsong of Alaska” may be little known in its home state, but the Chugiak-based organization provides information about Canis Lupis for people the world over… from Alpha to Omega.
- Music Button: “Peter and the Wolf” performed by Stevan Pasero from Ballets, Operas, and Selected Masterworks
Predator control has been tried on and off in Alaska since before statehood. The basic idea is to kill predators — wolves, and sometimes bears — in order to increase the population of prey species, like caribou and moose. AK host Rebecca Sheir speaks with Fairbanks Daily News Miner outdoors editor Tim Mowry about the controversy surrounding predator control.
- Break: “Theme from ‘Dances With Wolves'” performed by Syntrance from Techno Masters: Rotations Logic
Hunting Polar Bears
A resident of Noorvik recently shot a polar bear. It was a first for this Northwest Alaska village, but it was hardly a first for the area. After all, the main community in the region — Kotzebue — was once known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World. Len Anderson guides us back to the 1960s, when affluent hunters from around the world came to hunt this monarch of the ice packs.
- Music Button: “Bears” by Lyle Lovett from Step Inside This House
Many people fear the wolves lurking in the woods, or the polar bear ambling on the tundra, but others fear much larger, two-legged hairy creatures. Anne Hillman explores the tale of the Hairy Man, and other legendary creatures in southwest Alaska.
- Calendar of Events (Music: “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” from Reggae for Kids – Instrumentals)
UAA Alaska Native Science and Engineering professor Herb Schroeder demonstrates a device to keep the wolves away.
- Break: “Hungry Like the Wolf (Made Famous By Duran Duran)” performed by The Lullaby Ensemble from Baby Goes New Wave
A Wolf-Eat-Dog State
A recent spate of wolf-on-dog attacks has many Alaska residents worried. AK host Rebecca Sheir speaks with Alaska Department Fish and Game wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott and Alaska Zoo keeper Stephanie Hartman, and finds out what happens when the term “wolfing down” hits a little too close to home.
While wolf issues in general stir up controversy and debate, Alaska has some specific wolves who fire that passion to a whole new level. AK’s Jessica Cochran gives an update on Romeo in Juneau and the Toklat pack in Denali.
Wolf Country USA
On the Glenn Highway east of Palmer, signs beckon tourists to take a peek inside Wolf Country, USA. It’s not far from the popular Musk Ox Farm, and only a stone’s throw away from the tourist-friendly Reindeer Farm. As AK’s Ellen Lockyer tells us, what makes Wolf Country different — and controversial — is locked in the DNA of its four-footed furry residents.
- Music Button: “You’re a Wolf” by Sea Wolf from Leaves In the River (Bonus Track Version)
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
Last spring, a jury of Petersburg school children found their classmate “not guilty” of “crying wolf.” Joey Wolfcryer was the play-defendant in a mock-trial at the Petersburg Courthouse. The exercise was aimed at teaching the fifth graders about the legal system. Matt Lichtenstein sat in as the prosecution and defense presented their cases to the judge and jury.
- Closing: “Boys Don’t Cry” performed by The Imaginary Trio from The Imaginary Trio Plays the Cure