how man turned the wolf into a dog

Building on the success of “Mechanics of conspiracy”, “journalism” or “epidemics”, France Culture is launching a new collection of podcasts for “better understand the living”, by explaining the role of different species, their adaptation and survival strategies and their subtle interactions.

The journalist Marc Mortelmans, former high mountain guide and scuba diver, signs a very successful first part by narrating, with a beautiful soundtrack and rich interviews, the epic of the wolf, a rare mammal having survived the glaciation, becoming friend with man or remaining in a pack.

Tamed ten thousand years before other species

The first episode is centered on the meeting, forty thousand years ago, of theHomo sapiens and wolf. Neighbours, enemies then friends, the two species will learn to live together and help each other. Fed in exchange for services rendered by their incomparable flair or their hunting techniques, some wolves go “trade their freedom and accept the domination of man”. Unless the animal has “self-domesticated” ?

Still some, more “obedient and helpful”, will become dogs. They were thus the first animals that man tamed and domesticated, more than ten thousand years before our cows, goats, pigs. While those left in the wild will crystallize fears and fantasies.

In the following episodes, the podcast deciphers their functioning in packs and their adaptation strategies over the millennia, showing their role in the ecosystem. While the tensions between shepherds and defenders of wolves are reactivated, Marc Mortelmans questions the means of stemming them. For the record, Olivier Vogel, journalist at France Bleu Alsace, also investigated this difficult cohabitation in a podcast entitled “The Return of the Wolf, the investigation”, with the same concern for better “know and demystify” this great predator.


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