It would appear that the way things are going on Dartmoor one could be forgiven for thinking they were in Longleat safari park. Firstly there were the reports of wild boar rampaging over the southern edges of the moor, then there was the stampeding bullock and now there was great excitement because a wolf was ranging the Cornwood area. What happened was that on Friday the 16th of February, ‘Parker’ the wolf decided to go for a walkabouts on the moor, and why not I ask? A woman and her three children had just finished seeing to their horses when they spotted Parker trundling past. He didn’t seem in too much of a hurry because after having a nonchalant gawk at them he just meandered on down the road, this was about 10.30am. By 1.00pm Parker had managed to reach Cornwood which meant he had ambled a couple of miles on his little outing. It was in Cornwood Quarry that a posse of police, zookeepers, park wardens and quarry staff managed to corner the lone wolf and shoot it with a tranquiliser dart.
Parker had escaped from the nearby Dartmoor Wildlife Park at Sparkwell where he lives with his mates as the ‘number two’ wolf of the pack. It also transpired that this was not the first time Parker had escaped from the park. On a previous occasion he scrambled up a tree and leap over the electric fence in his bid for freedom. This time he sauntered off down to the pub in Cornwood where he just sat outside howling. Probably because nobody would buy him a pint and a packet of pork scratchings The zookeepers managed to grab him by the scruff of the neck and haul him off home.
Personally I can’t see what the fuss was all about because as a wolf expert noted, Parker was more of a threat to the local rodent population than anything else. Apparently wolves will do their utmost to avoid any human contact – a theory I whole heartedly support. Maybe next time Parker decides to go AWOL he could take his mate with him and both of them head onto the open moor and breed a local population. Imagine that wild wolves on Dartmoor, what a fantastic idea, you could lay in your tent of a night and listen to them howling down the Dartmoor wind – WOW!