Empathy is a Two-Way Street

March 14 2018 – by Founder and Director, Bruce Elfstrom
One thing I feel we cant forget is that as much as some of us love these apex predators, from the herders’ perspective the wolf or snow leopard is the enemy for good reason.  The loss of even one sheep is a major blow.Can a balance be reached? The solution is complex and involves returning natural prey to their former numbers, providing compensation for livestock taken by wolves, elimination feral dogs killing livestock that wolves then get blamed for, slowing effects if climate change, providing incentives to diversity livestock kept, providing tools such as livestock guardian dogs, and much more.

Speaking for the nomadic Mongolian herder who has no control over the rampant poaching of native prey species; or has no income from foreign sports hunters running down wolves with trucks; gets no federal livestock loss compensation – what choices are left? Clearly our project is one choice they might have, but it is just one part if the puzzle and it cannot stand alone. We at MBDP aim to partner with other concerned entities so we can be stonger through cooperation. Step by step with help from our supporters we are focused and on target.
But lets not make the herders out to be criminals when circumstances force them to kill a wolf. Lets just try and make it so they don’t have to.  Would you or I kill a wolf or snow leopard to save a goat that would feed a child? I think we all know the answer to that.Empathy is rare and is never one sided. Realizing that helps us to see that there are ways to help a herder or rancher AND help rare apex predators. To forget either side of the story will result in complete failure.

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