How to survive if you were surrounded by wolves

How to survive if you were surrounded by wolves

Wolves in Russia became too much and they cause damage to the state billions of rubles. That’s how lives village of three hundred people surrounded by predators.


At the end of 2017 in the Russian forests already lived twice more wolves than the forest can feed, this is a real threat to the entire ecosystem. The number of wolves also affects agriculture, which each year loses of cattle, and on the lives of ordinary people, is not only a problem of villages and small settlements: wolves often come even in large and well-lit city. Anya Bernal went to a small village in the centre of the Arkhangelsk region, where the light on the street at all, and the wolves freely go on the streets.

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Lipkovo is located in the centre of the Arkhangelsk region. To get there, you need to get by rail to the station of Plesetskaya, very close here the Plesetsk cosmodrome, where high-tech missiles in orbit of new satellites. Lipkovo only fifty kilometers from the spaceport, but we cannot say that space technology had any impact on the lives of the inhabitants of the village.

Direct transport here is no, passing bus: it is necessary to ask to stop at the right turn and after a mile from the road take a ferry across Onega.

Ferry operates on the stream, no electricity. There is no electricity on the street: after five in the evening here, you can see only what is placed in the light spot flashlight.

“The ball bark in the dark before he heads off to the kennel for the night. The dog that lived here before the Ball, ate out hunting in broad daylight”.

“You Lipkovo street at five o’clock see?”.

“I think the wolf will pop up, and I go so healthy, he says: “so Much meat! What a dead dog is enough — I’m caught!””.

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In Soviet times there was the timber industry, which grew around three villages, several thousand residents and workers, woodworking enterprise, and a lot of noise and light. For the most part, there remained only the elderly, who have nowhere to go in search of work, so they have their farm or earn — someone in a local club, who is a fireman — in the places where they had spent their youth.

Gradually reducing production from the 90s, by 2000, the timber industry was closed entirely, the people began to disperse. Left in search of work, almost all the young people moved to cities, got to the school or to production, were mostly pensioners, who are unlikely to be able to start a new life in a new place. Residents there are now about three hundred people in the village became very quiet, disappeared from the streets of light, and the wolves are not afraid to walk right up to the houses. Pets are here for the night lock to lock, and in the evenings I try not to go out. Walk from house to house in the evening Lipkovo is a circular spot of the flashlight and the idea that outside of this circle can be the wolf.

Eugene lives with his family on the edge of the village, the last house, that is very close to the forest.

“Val calls: “now let’s go get you a rocket launcher!” I said, “what? Who am I to honk, I’ll be? Galina Ivanovna?””.

“Yes, a wolf would, and under the lamp the dog to take. But with the lights it would be easier: at least you can see where to aim! And so the night has popped up with a gun and a flashlight, and it is not clear what to shoot.”

In order to save her guardian Akbay, Tatiana chased the wolf across the field into the woods in her nightgown.

Valentine in front of his house. Around the corner the wolves threw the head strangled dogs.

Gennady with Galina at night, lock the dogs in a wooden kennel. After six in the evening dogs on the street anymore.

To the house of Svetlana and Alexander wolf came out last week and attacked a neighbor’s dog. For they have their own iron cage.

“Wolf, it is not even afraid. Sitting at the intersection like a dog looks, people go. And now there is no light, can’t see him, maybe he’s sitting next to!”.

“In the summer of puppies wandering with the wolf, and somewhere in October it teaches them to hunt. On dogs, here.”

The dog of Alexei strangled right on the porch, shoot he had not. The next morning found only the head and collar.

Text and photo: Anna Bernal