Monday, December 9, 2019

The Last Wolves of Ireland

From Ancient Origins:
When the last ice age ended, Ireland’s landscape was the perfect environment for wolves to thrive. There were mountains and forests and regions of tundra to roam, and which provided a wide variety of animals for the wolves to prey upon such as deer, wild boar and, for a time, the Giant Elk. It is estimated that the first people arrived in Ireland around 8000 BC, although there is more recent evidence of a possible settlement dating back another 5,000 years. For these people the wolves must have been a constant danger as well as competitor for food.

Indeed, up until the middle ages Ireland was often referred to as Wolfland because of how many wolves there were. This would also be part of the reason for the many barricaded ring forts which acted as a defence against the wolves who would roam the country in large packs. Ireland’s wolves were so well known in the middle ages that even William Shakespeare, in his play As You Like It , had a character remark, “Pray you, no more of this; ‘Tis like the howling of Irish wolves against the moon.” (Read more.)

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