Until news broke of his passing, I honestly can’t say that I knew who Takaya the sea wolf was. I also can’t say I knew that “sea wolfs” were a thing, but I’m glad now that I know. I’m also now entirely devastated about Takaya’s passing, having read this gorgeous write-up about his life and heartbreaking death in The Guardian.
Most of Takaya’s story is one of resilience, survival, and adaptability, but it’s also one of beauty, which is great because those are all things I need to hear more of right now. Literally every description of this wolf has made me emotional.
She saw Takaya emerge from the ocean briefly and slip into the trees. The piercing howls that followed were a chilling and powerful experience. “It had emotions associated with it that were very melodic,” she says. “Everyone was almost moved to tears.”
And it’s not just descriptions of Takaya or Takaya’s story that have gotten me in my feels while reading this essay. People who came into contact with the wolf also shared what he meant to and inspired in them, and suddenly I’m tearing up all over again.
“I didn’t want to fight any more. And then I saw this lone wolf and thought, ‘If he’s healthy – if he’s doing fine by himself, then so can I,’” he says. “From that day forward, I just changed my attitude towards things. I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I felt more invigorated than ever to get things right in my life. And I never looked back.”
As you might infer from the title of this post, and that of The Guardian essay, Takaya’s story does not have the happiest of endings. After surviving for nearly a decade in relatively close proximity humans, he was relocated from the islands where he’d made his home, 100 miles further into the wilderness by Canadian conservation officers. Thirty miles from where he was released, he was shot by a hunter.
Tonight, I’m going to pour one out for Takaya and watch this short little documentary about his life (because I can’t find the full one that aired on the BBC). How are all of the rest of you lone wolves spending your weekend?