My friend Alistair and I were in an Asturian place this evening, just off Madrid’s Calle Narvaez.
Propped up on the booze-shelf behind the bar was a photo of the owner, a fat grin below his thinning ‘tache, mountain pine forest behind… Here he is, the wild man, holding an absolute honest-to-god WOLF between his outstetched arms, tail in one hand, jaw (toothy and twisted towards the camera) in the other. A sticky red smear on it’s tawny belly the only clue that it had recently been shot to death.
I asked the (bigger moustache, combed-over hair, quintessentially Spanish) barman: “That’s a wolf, right? It’s huge!”
He said: “Yes, I’ve seen it, the head’s in the bar’s window display”
Me: (Nice…) “When was that photo taken?”
Barman: “Last year”
Me: (WTF?!) “Where?!”
Barman: “In Zamora Province”
… Jo’er.… so they are still shooting wolves in Spain. Wolves! There’s something so medieval about a wolf! And something so heartening to discover that they are still wandering around the wilder corners of Spain. Or not, as the case may increasingly be…
What’s to be done about the shooting of wolves?