New Internationalist

Leader of the Pack

Issue 378

Wildlife experts are over the moon about the latest discovery of a new member of a rare breed of wolf thought to be nearing extinction. The species, known as canis lupus presidentus worldbankum, was believed to be on its last legs, until news that a lone wolf has emerged as the new leader of the bank, er, pack.

Wildlife documentary makers have been following the movements of the dire wolf, affectionately named ‘James’, and his pack for years, bringing his trials of life to the living rooms of millions of nature lovers and fund managers. It was during one of these documentaries when viewers saw the fierce grey alpha male, dubbed ‘Paul’, suddenly emerge from the Bushes to challenge James for leadership of the bank pack.

James, an aging beast with a great mane, seems to have resigned himself to his new subservient role, and it is thought that he will lead a lonely existence as a travelling university lecturer as is the custom. The Paul wolf however is set to lead the pack to greater strength as his hunting abilities seem to suggest a more aggressive leadership style than his predecessor.

Still, it remains to be seen which of the two will prove to be the most fearsome. James’ unique hunting style involved befriending the abundant NGO deer, allowing him and his pack to poach them off at leisure. Paul’s hunting style suggests that he might just dispense with the pleasantries and eat his prey willy-nilly.

However, both leaders must ensure that their pack’s creature comforts are well looked after. For example, the species has eschewed the more traditional cave dwelling, preferring to inhabit large destructive infrastructure projects instead. They also have a predilection for drastically changing the local habitat in which they live, marking their terrain with a particularly pungent form of territorial pissings and droppings which scientists call Structural Adjustment. Nonetheless, with the arrival of the Paul wolf, it would seem that for the time being, the species has been saved from near extinction.

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