“We humans fear the beast within the wolf because we do not understand the beast within ourselves” ― Gerald Hausman
When we envision true superhuman people, we often endow them with remarkable physical characteristics like unbeatable strength or record-breaking speed.
Less commonly, we picture someone with unfathomable mental capabilities– photographic memory, genius level computing skills or even musical brilliance.
But the group we neglect to mention may be even more astounding, and these are the individuals who exhibit superhuman empathy.
Enter Shaun Ellis, the man who earned a name for himself after demonstrating a natural affinity for understanding and bonding with creatures who are often vilified in myths and legends: wolves.
Born in England, Shaun “The Wolfman” Ellis was raised in a small, romantic village called Great Massingham.
From a very young age, he began to watch animals in their natural habitats. He quickly learned how to utilize his most basic senses (sound and, of course, scent) to locate wild badgers and foxes in the dark of the night.
He served a stint in the Royal Marines and, upon his return, got into contact with a Native American biologist by the name of Levi Holt, who invited him to spend a few months at a wolf research center in Idaho.
The project Ellis participated in studied wolves living at the base of the Rocky Mountains.
The people working the project instructed him on the basics of observing wild wolves, and eventually, he managed to work his way into a wolf pack.
The pack accepted him as a member and allowed him to live with them for quite some time– Ellis even claims that they would bring him food to share.
In the year 2005, the Wolfman lived with three orphaned wolf pups for 18 months. During this time, he taught them wild wolf behavior and served as their alpha male, forming his own miniature pack.
The Real Life Wolf Man
What is his Superpower?
Having lived with wolves as a pack member, Shaun Ellis has developed an amazing ability to empathize and interact with them.
He knows how to identify individual wolves within the pack by sound and sight, as well as how to communicate with them easily using sound and scent.
Ellis has used his abilities to help his new-found family members: he founded Wolf Pack Management in Combe Martin’s wildlife park, where he rescued several wolves from their neglectful human captors and gave countless life-saving lectures meant to educate and enlighten people on the brilliance of wolves.
The research projects Ellis is working with in Yellowstone and in Poland work to put together humane, peaceful ways to discourage wolves from coming into conflict with ever-growing human populations.
His deep understanding of these complex creatures makes it far easier for him to serve as a diplomat between humans and wolves.
What can we Learn From Him
Shaun Ellis earned his title as the Wolfman not through cunning or physical strength, but through wisdom and his amazing capacity for empathy.
His ability to cast aside the usually superior human ego and view wolves as equals is what has allowed him to understand and bond with them on such a deep, intimate level.
By respecting and valuing life, he has made a difference in the lives of countless others, both human and canine.
From Shaun Ellis, we can learn how to overcome our sense of entitlement and superiority to better understand and interact with those around us. His story serves as an important reminder that we, humans, are not alone on this planet.
What is he Currently Doing?
Ellis lives with the goal of eventually seeing wild wolves introduced back into his home country of England, where they had prospered until the end of the seventeenth century.
Today, the Wolfman has fathered six human pups of his own through earlier marriages. He and his current alpha female have two kids of their own, and they live together in Cornwall.
He currently works with the Wolf Centre, where he hosts training and education events on canine behavior and communication He continues to research wolves and educate the public in the hopes of bridging the gap between us and them.
Videos and Links
A Man Among Wolves
Shaun Ellis teaching a wolf cub to howl
Featured Image Credit