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Famous person in our region

Erweiterte Realschule Weiskirchen, Germany

Werner Freund, a well known wolf researcher

We - pupils of the classes 6a and 8b - proudly present one of the most famous persons living in our region:

the internationally renowned behavioural scientist Werner Freund

Most people think wolves are greedy beasts and enemies of the humans. But there is a man who showed the proof to the contrary. Werner Freund has become a friend of wild animals of whom men have been afraid for hundreds of years. They even accept him as ”leader of the pack.”

We visited him in his wolvespark in Merzig on the Saar and asked a lot of questions to find out many details about his person and his work. Werner Freund was born on 2nd March 1933. He grew up in a family of foresters and shepherds. So he learned early how to handle animals. After school he did a gardening training in the Stuttgarter Wilhelmina Zoo. Soon he showed a lot of affection for the wild animals, especially for bears and wolves. Between 1955 and 1972 he went on 17 expeditions to distant continents to study the behaviour of the natives. 1972 he got his first wolf and gave him the name “IVAN.”

Soon Werner Freund developed a special sensitivity for the animals. When he got settled in Merzig 1972 he started the wolvespark (approx. 4,5 hectares) which has become a famous place. Werner Freund and his wife have raised more than 70 wolves. In order to study their behaviour he had to become a fellow wolf . The breeding of the two-week-old wolves begins in his own living-room. He is the person to whom they relate from the very beginning. First he is their mother, later the stronger wolf, the leader. When Werner Freund entered the wolves’ enclosure we all wondered what would happen They greeted him like a friend and with joy and he howled with them. “ I behave like a wolf during the feeding sessions. As head wolf I bring the meat to the pack. Then I join the animals in struggling for the pry as if to take part in the meal. That’s important to keep my position as leader”, he explained. ProSieben, a TV transmitter, is just making a film about Werner Freund and his wild friends for the series “Galileo Mystery”.

At the end of our visit he gave us a DVD as a present with breathtaking pictures about his work and said children should have more contact to animals and parents should help them to find a natural relation to them.
If ever you come to our region make sure to visit Werner Freund and his wild friends and watch the feeding sessions. You will see something really unique.

written by class 6a and 8b, Erweiterte Realschule Weiskirchen.