I see the wolf as an Anthropocene artifact because it is a strong symbol for how complex the relation between humans and nature are. The wolf is one of the most important key species after humans in many ecosystems. There are always a lot of feelings involved when it comes to discussions about wolves. Ethical, philosophical and sometimes even religious opinions are expressed when it comes to the question of wolves existence. There is also a lot of practical scientific questions for example about genetics to solve. At the same time it is a political issue on both local, regional, national and international level.
The wolf is also used as a symbol for wilderness. At the same time we are trying to control the amount of wolves and want to know exactly where wolf families have their territories. Some people even hunt wolves from helicopters. I see that many of us both feels like we are a part of nature at the same time we sometimes stands outside and look at nature or the wilderness as if we are more like strangers in paradise. A paradise we now often talk about as a lost paradise. We note that the traces of humans are everywhere. I fully agree with Cronon as he wrote in 1996 ”the dilemma we face is to decide what kinds of marks we wish to leave”. For example when we choose not to have wolves in the south of Sweden we get a lot of more elks. Elks are eating a lot of plants from pine trees. Now we have the problem that pine tree forests are disappearing from the south of Sweden. It means that a whole ecosystem connected to pine forests also are disappearing. In the end we will have spruce forests where we once had pine forests. All species connected to pine tree forests also disappear.
The Wolf named Kynna came from Norway to the south of Småland in autumn 2010. She lived there for some months, mostly eating elk, and it seemed like she had found herself a territory. The authorities in the county of Kronoberg decided to hunt her. But in the county of Skåne they decided she should be free. 150 hunters in Småland where looking for her during more than three weeks. I might exaggerate when I say that the wolf in Sweden is almost a domestic animal. But Kynna had a collar so everyone could follow her on a map, published by the authorities, at the internet with 30 minutes delay. In the end, she was killed.
The photo is taken in Orsa Rovdjurspark by Magnus Johansson