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Wolf Conservation Center Prepares for “The Grey”


Wolves, their recovery, and the status of the keystone predator are often hot topics on Capitol Hill and media outlets in the West. But in the past week, wolves have also been the talk of the town in Hollywood! “The Grey,” a film starring Liam Neeson has hackles raised among wildlife advocates in fear that the film’s chilling portrayal of wolves can further muddy the already terrible and undeserved reputation that this species is burdened with. The film, opening on January 27th, is an intense adventure thriller about a group of oil rig workers who must fight wolves for their lives in the Alaskan wilderness after their airplane crashes.

In reality, wild wolves are shy and elusive. A person in wolf country has a greater chance of being hit by lightning, dying of a bee sting or being killed in a vehicle collision with a deer than being injured by a wolf.

WCC's Lewis on NPR (Photo: Chion Wolf)

This being said, wolves still continue to evoke high emotions among the masses and this film could possibly ignite additional fear. A few environmental organizations, including the Wolf Conservation Center, have chosen to recognize the film’s momentum as a great platform for education – to diffuse the damaging myths that surround this misunderstood predator.

WCC's Darling on NPR (Photo: Chion Wolf)

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In the past week, we’ve really enjoyed discussing wolves with the great folks from NPR’s Colin McEnroe Show (listen here), the New York Post, and Sirius Satellite Radio.

If you plan on seeing the film or know someone who intends to do so, the great folks from The National WolfWatcher Coalition created an informative brochure with real facts about wolves.  Please feel free to distribute them within your community!

Click on the links to download the brochure’s front side and back side.

Several great organizations are asking supporters to boycott “The Grey.”  To learn more about how you can join this petition, please visit WildEarth Guardians call to action page here.

In the meantime, we can only hope that Hollywood’s wolves don’t contribute to the many unnatural challenges that wild wolves already face.

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16 Responses to Wolf Conservation Center Prepares for “The Grey”

  1. Michelle Roberts says:

    Thanks for the article. We MUST do what we can to help wolves and discourgage anyone from seeing this disgusting movie!! Where are all the celebs and high profile people who say they love animals and who could make a difference and the press would listen to? What about all the animal rights groups! Surely someone can make a BIGGER stir!! I can’t stand the thought of this movie opening and ANYONE seeing it!! Is is so heartbreaking and sad!!

  2. Jean Ossorio says:

    I think this is an intelligent approach to a difficult problem. Given that many people, especially young males, are likely to see this film regardless of any boycott efforts, it seems wise to view it as a “teachable moment.” The little flyers from the Wolfwatcher Coalition are a welcome addition to that effort.

  3. Tracy Schulz says:

    As soon as I heard of this movie my heart dropped to my stomach! I have been a huge wolf advocate for decades. We have come far but still have sooooo far to go in educating people about these beautiful, majestic animals. This movie could not come out at a worse time as we are fighting to keep them protected! I am sickened by their portrayal!!! Harkens back to Little Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs! Shame on the producers, directors and actors for being so irresponsible!

  4. Julie Dace says:

    People need to use their brain, a movie is just a movie; to my knowledge only one death has been caused by wolves EVER that was in Canada none here in the states. A movie was made about frogs attacking, are people afraid of frogs?

    • nywolf says:

      Hi Julie, thanks for your comment. Frogs, nor any other animal I can think of except perhaps sharks, has been persecuted to the degree wolves have here in the US. Wolves were persecuted so heavily that by the mid-1900’s most lands in the lower 48 United States were void of this top predator. Wolves are an emotional and political “hot potato” and thus many are very sensitive about misleading portrayal that can evoke more fear.

  5. Liz Barrett says:

    I am boycotting this movie so it breaks my heart to see that the brochure the Wolf Conservation Center created includes some lies. That will only hurt our efforts to educate people. The lies are (on side 2):

    “Four innocent wolves were brutally trapped and killed during the making of this movie.”

    –That is not so. The cast did eat wolf stew that they got from a trapper, but those wolf carcasses were frozen and were NOT trapped for the movie. The trapper is Dick McDiarmid. He is not associated with the film. (http://www.theprovince.com/news/Method+motivates+Liam+Neeson+Grey+cast+dine+wolf+meat/6021303/story.html)

    “Two of the wolves depicted in the movie were eaten by cast members during the making of the film.”

    – Not true. See above. The wolves in the movie are computer animations.

    • nywolf says:

      Hi Liz, this is actually a pamphlet created by the National WolfWatcher (www.wolfwatcher.org). I’ve read the article you shared and I believe that many who are upset about the film don’t find a big difference between whether the dead wolves came straight off the trap line or from the freezer. Also, some of the actors themselves are the ones who admitted to eating wolves for the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80CPXyAFXxk

      Thanks for visiting our site!

      • Dave Hornoff says:

        Hi Liz,
        Have you seen this film? It was sent to me by the VP of Publicity for Open Road Films. The four(4) wolves may have already been trapped and killed but they were used in the making of this film. Two(2) were eatern, and two(2) were used as stage props. Highly unethical and there was no disclaimer that animals weren’t hurt or killed “during” the making of this film. The trapper was actually an extra in the movie. You should visit our website as nywolf suggests, and see the educational approach we have taken, and it is one followed by many organizations across the country, as opposed to boycotting. The opportunity to attach education to a movie like this is a great opportunity to teach those that are unaware of true wolf behavior, and like a wolf on a vole, we “Pounced” on it. Thanks for your concerns. Dave

  6. Pingback: ‘The Grey’ slammed for ‘bloodthirsty’ portrayal of wolves « Celebs Be Crazy

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  10. Karen Sull says:

    I, like many who have already commented, am a passioned wolf lover and advocate. I am appalled & sickened that this type of “entertainment” is coming out of todays’s Hollywood. I’ve studied wolves & received info from our government via an environmental impact study done prior to wolves being re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park in the mid-90′s. There has never been a documented attack of a wolf on a human–yes, this is correct that they are shy & afraid of humans. We have to boycott this horrible film and tell others to do so. I am also deeply disturbed and horrified that dead wolves were used as “props”–and “wolf stew” was eaten by cast & crew! Wolves are beautiful animals who mate for life, and actually “babysit” for the young pups of other wolves in the pack. A GREAT book to read is “WOLF-Spirit of the Wild” by The Nature Company. (A Walking Stick Press Book). I will fight for these beautiful animals until the day I die & be their advocate!~

  11. i am amazed that Hollywood would do something as irresponsible as this! It is an insult to conservation and educational programs in our nation. Shame on you!!!

  12. Pingback: Predator aversion « Montana Votes

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