View Full Version : Biologist Aims to Demystify Wolf and Moose

Monday, May 8th, 2006, 11:48 AM
Biologist Aims to Demystify Wolf and Moose


Rolf Peterson has watched a bleeding female wolf struggle to survive, helped by a turncoat male from the rival pack that had mauled and left her for dead.

He and his wife have spent three decades of summers in an old fishing cabin without electricity or running water so he could do field work such as gathering moose bones and scouting wolf dens.
He has chronicled with endless fascination the not-so-peaceful coexistence between wolves and moose on Isle Royale, a wilderness national park in Lake Superior whose isolation provides a rare setting for predator and prey to interact with minimal human contact.

"I've seen a lot of amazing things," Peterson said, summing up his life's work as a wildlife biologist in one understated sentence.
Like the time he came face to face with a wolf while lying on a forest path shooting video; the animal casually detoured around him.
Peterson has no intention of stopping, although he'll officially retire as a Michigan Technological University professor at the end of May. His "second career" is already lined up: continuing to study moose and wolves on Isle Royale as a faculty researcher.

"It's something he'll do as long as he physically can," says his wife, Candy, who shares her husband's love of nature and cheerfully welcomes park visitors to their waterfront cabin.
Peterson, 56, a native of Minneapolis, is sometimes likened to the legendary primatologist Jane Goodall, although he notes that for obvious reasons he can't develop close-up, affectionate relationships with wolves and moose as Goodall does with chimpanzees.
But in one respect they're definitely alike: Both try to demystify animals that are often misunderstood.

"The wolf is a hot-button species," Peterson says. "It never fails to ignite passions, either for or against."

link (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2627&ncid=2627&e=7&u=/ap/20060507/ap_on_sc/apn_wolf_man_1)

On the Net:
Wolf and moose program's Web site: http://www.isleroyalewolf.org (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/ap_on_sc/storytext/apn_wolf_man/18953774/SIG=10vg3ujn0/*http://www.isleroyalewolf.org)