Shaun Ellis

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Shaun Ellis is an English animal researcher who is notable for living among wolves.


Interview with A Man Among Wolves: Shaun Ellis, Inside NGS, (2007)[edit]

  • My perception of wolves was much the same as any other kid. I was brought up to fear them. But it was through the fox that I got interested in wolves at an early age.
  • It was really evident that what we were learning from a scientific point of view from wolves wasn't very much. The Native Americans I lived with knew far more about wolves than we ever did. I believe it was because they had the time to live alongside these creatures, to share their world.
  • They have called me bizarre, neurotic or silly, and said that what I am doing is pointless. "Animals don't need a human to teach them how to behave." Many of these critics are generally misinformed about my intentions. This is not a one-time experiment. My "science," or my way of researching wolf behavior, is from inside the pack and actually becoming part of their world -- exploring the unknown and untested. I think the madness that some people will see in living alongside a pack of wolves will be justified when people see the results of what we've learned.
  • My ultimate ambition is to introduce a captive pack of wolves into the wild and live with them.
  • Wolves don't suffer things like guilt or remorse. They don't have any problems with the amount of discipline that they give to a fellow pack member, because in their world, the family is what matters, not the individual. So when you go in with a pack of wolves, you have to leave your emotions at the gate. When you come back out, it's very difficult to pick those emotions back up again.

I howled for the woman I loved... and she howled back - British wolfman tells how his obsession drove away the love of his life, Daily Mail, (23 January, 2010)[edit]

  • My obsession with wolves hadn't helped past relationships. I had split up with Jan, the mother of my four children, after 11 years together, but there was never any animosity; it was more a case of separation by default. Maybe I never gave that relationship a chance. I was so passionate about wolves that I wonder whether any human relationship could have come close. If I'd had to choose between spending a night in the wolf enclosure or at home, I would probably have chosen the wolves.
  • I had always aimed to bridge the gap between humans and wolves but being able to speak for the wolf is pointless unless you can communicate with the people who need to hear you. What Helen couldn't cope with was my inability to give myself completely. Of the two worlds I lived in, one was devoid of emotion, the other was full of it. I knew I turned my emotions off when I was in the wolf world but I had always thought I turned them back on when I walked up the track to the caravan. I never did; I never truly left the forest.
  • I have to come to terms with the fact that I am not good at human relationships. I've known some wonderful women and I have beautiful children but I've probably disappointed them all. I regret that.

Quotes about Shaun Ellis[edit]

  • I have raised far more captive wolves than the "Man Among Wolves," Shaun Ellis... Rearing 10-day-old pups into adulthood takes a trained group of individuals, just like a pack. When humans take a break from the wolves, others need to be present for consistent care that includes feeding, immunizations and critical handling to limit time under the care of a veterinarian. Ellis did a disservice to the longtime experience of wolf caregivers, if, in fact, he was the sole caregiver, as implied.
    • Nancy Gibson, "Sensational Geographic", International Wolf, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Spring 2008).
  • Ellis's goal is to release these captive-raised wolves in the wild, and then he wants to live with a wild pack! This should have been a Disney cartoon paired with Jungle Book. Snarling Ellis forgets wolves howl and hunt just fine without human intervention.
    • Nancy Gibson, "Sensational Geographic", International Wolf, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Spring 2008).
  • Mr. Ellis is neither a scientist nor an expert on the natural behavior of wolves.
    • L. David Mech, as quoted by B.J. King, (April 19, 2012). "Why Are Wolf Scientists Howling At Jodi Picoult?" NPR.

External links[edit]