In the Valley of the Wolves
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  • Dennis Richards

    I am forwarding this to you to show my displeasure at some of your thoughtless programming.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Dennis Richards
    Sent: Friday, July 04, 2008 1:46 AM
    To: Services, Viewer
    Subject: Your insensitivity to our youth

    July 3, 2008

    Regarding: Thursday July 3rd, 2008 – 8 PM programming “In the Valley of the Wolves”

    Sirs:

    I am appalled that you would show that documentary during prime time on public television.

    Your “Start at KCTS9 viewer guide describes the show as: “An intimate record of the lives of the most celebrated wolf pack in North America”.

    It is anything but ‘intimate’, when you show the details of pack of wolves tearing apart a coyote, then compounding the scene with a statement to the effect that ‘now the female, who will be soon be giving birth to her litter, will have to fend for her self’.

    Just how do you think those scenes affect children? I know they upset me to see them during prime time.

    This is not unlike the scene where the wolves hunt down a moose calf, and the narrator giving a vivid discription, of the same. (Also seen on KCTS).

    For your information, I am not a sensationalist, as I have spent many years in the bush and in the Arctic. I have seen many things that would make most of your staff puke, however I do not go around talking about it or showing pictures of it, in front of children.

    I expect to see a public apology from KCTS to all the families whom those scenes have upset. Please screen your shows more carefully in the future. This is supposed to be public tv (I assume that means suitable for all ages).

    Dennis Richards

  • Ms. Kir

    Wonderful, fascinating show PBS! Everyone, including children should watch it and learn about the ups and downs of life. It is gratifying to see that Nature films show the full spectrum of life in the wild and do not “Bambify” the harshness of animal realities.

    One has to wonder whether Mr. Richards has ever, in his extensive travels, heard of the television “OFF” button?

    What his children watch is HIS responsibility. Perhaps next time such an “unsuitable, objectionable” program is on in prime time, Mr. Richards can pop in a soft cartoon video for his sheltered children.

    With such fare they will expect an easy road in real life, which may not happen.

    Nature is not cruel, She is indifferent and plays no favorites. Mankind is part of Nature and cannot escape. The sooner our soft offspring learn that the better. The times ahead for humanity may be hard.

    More programs like this in primetime would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again.

    Ms. Kir

  • sierra

    i like wolfs but some of the kinds of wolf’s are dissapearing. Have of the world needs wolf’s. Wolf’s are a part of mother nature.so i think we need to keep wolf in our world for the mother nature.

  • Kris Hawley

    I would like to respond to the comment made by Dennis Richards who found this wonderful and enlightening show offensive. The Nature Chanel did what it was attempting to do… show nature. It made no attempts to hide reality and it showed the facts well. You and even your children have the right and ability to pick up the remote and change the channel. People watch because they want to, and you are the only person I know of that has ever had a negative comment about In the Valley of the Wolves. I no you receive no apology and are politely told to ‘shove it’

  • Ann Z.

    I have read all of your comments and, having a visceral response myself to scenes of natural violence, have to say that PBS could easily state in their published show description that “scenes of extreme/natural violence will occur in the following program.” Turning off the program to protect young children from such scenes is difficult when the adult doesn’t know they’re coming. One would have to have the remote in-hand and “be ready” in order to change the channel in time to avoid these scenes. Yes, it is “nature,” but adults all know that Nature isn’t kind. Little children don’t have to. Children don’t have to grow up before they need to.

  • Mr. M

    People, what happened to common sense? ‘Wolf’, and ‘Nature’ usually mean SOME pack hunting is to be expected, this isn’t the disney channel, you know. What one allows younger viewers to watch is the parent/guardian’s responsibility, not the television networks’. And if you do not like your children watching ‘that type of show’, change it, it IS a TV, after all. I don’t understand WHY people are not using their minds like a few years ago. What happened to our intelligence and our ability to think for ourselves? If someone puts up a large, flashy sign, do we choose to read it? Do we choose to ignore it? Or do we stand there, complaining about it? Bottom line: Just enjoy the programming shown on these networks, and don’t watch what you don’t like. Simple as that.

  • matthew sleight

    great we was just saying that we never see any good wolf docs any more then bang just not long enough but fantasticly put to gether jet our black timber wolf*akita glued thaks

  • Barry

    Dennis Richards you should quit being a little baby and face the facts of what really happens in nature. i think kids should watch this kind of show and learn something besides you dont think that they see more graphic things in video games and what not. great document other than that numbskull’s comment

  • Karson Adams

    I agree with Barry. Dennis, you really should not act like a hippie and complain about nonsense like that! I was shocked as well when i saw the coyote scene. I really felt sympathy for it and its mate. But seriously. Thats something that you could actually see comming. If you really dont want you little “children” to be exposed to it, Then simply do as Ms. Kir says. Simply hit the OFF button.

    Great Video guys! I really enjoyed watching it! Can you by any chance in the future continue your documentry about the Druid pack? I’m very interested. Thanks alot and keep up the great work!

  • adam

    Anyone who has spent years in the arctic and bush wouldn’t be shocked at all by what they saw.
    In fact watching the entire video. I was more disappointed by the wolves being chased out of their area and was in fact delighted by the cinematography. The depiction of both the mother coyote bearing pups and the late father carrying on through his children. Then the wolf pack returning in victory.
    Had the coyotes not been chased off the disease that killed the invading wolf pack would have certainly killed both the mother and father as they are smaller dog species.
    Outstanding programming and i immediately watched the highlights again online.

    Mr Richards you are a liar and a pansy. Life isn’t some soft padded room (although for you it may be). As an adult such videos about wolves aren’t for all ages of children it’s our job as adults to choose when its time for Big Bird and when it’s time for shows about wolves where obviously things are going to be eaten….

  • tim

    Excellent documentary and excellent cinematography! I completely agree here with all who say Mr. Richards should turn of the TV if he doesn’t want his kids to view this show. I think it is reasonable to expect the viewing audience to realize that a documentary about wolves in the wild will include some “kills”. I believe it is our responsibility as parents to monitor what our children are watching and if we believe that the content is objectionable it is our responsibility to prevent them from viewing. Even though I personally believe this documentary would be a great teaching opportunity for children everyone is entitled to their opinion on raising their kids but please step up to the plate and monitor what they are viewing instead of complaining to the network. Y

  • Ryan Murray

    Mr.Richards thats nature my man the food chain and if you don’t hold up your part of the chain it will break I suggest you put on Bambi as your mind has obvoiusly molested buy the worlds biggest tree hugger Disney! Oh I’ll be eating venison as I do my part in the food chain your welcome to have some with me if you would like but I figure survival of the fittest so go get your own!

  • Jason Kelly

    Mr. Richards,

    I grew up watching documentaries focusing on lions, wolves, crocodiles, etc…all of which had images of how the animal hunts and survives. I would argue that it had no negative impact on me. In fact I am now working as a wildlife biologist and I would argue that these documentaries helped guide me towards my chosen profession.

  • Christopher Nelson

    I remember watching documentarys in middle school that showed these same sceanes. I can also remember riding to school and seeing hawks eating their kills, dead animals on the side of the road and even one time a deer getting hit by a plow. Very messy. you can not control everything a child sees, it is better to educate them as to how animals actualy and thereby keeping them from walking up to pet Baloo and Akela, two great Disney characters. Santa Claus is very different too. Great show, keep them coming and maintain the quality please.

  • Sherise

    This movie was very educational. I would like a copy for my students.

  • Alicia

    I had a hard time watching the part with the wolves killing whatever they did but knew it was coming and changed the channel then went back when I figured it was done. I know what happens in nature, but I am in control of what is on my TV and so is everyone else. If you don’t like it turn it off…

  • Justin

    To Dennis Richards and everyone else. Just think about where that steak comes from next time you eat one.

    Fascinating program. I just wish PBS had these videos for download. I missed the first 10 minutes and who knows the next time it will be on.

    Excellent program again!!!

  • Erin McGuinn

    I think Dennis Richards simply needs to look at the title NATURE! If you don’t want children to see things that are violent in the natural world, don’t let them watch. There is an off button. This program is a wonderful one. It shows the trials and tribulations of everyday life for these wonderful predators who are finally back where they belong. Mr. Richards come on! I would much rather see what happens in the natural world compared to what man does to each other. Think about it next time someone is shot, a child is stolen, and the countless other inhumane actions people do everyday.

    To PBS: PLEASE keep on filming the world as it should be…NATURAL. “We are part of the earth and it is part of us”. Cheif Seattle

  • Jackie

    This was the best show I’ve ever seen on wolves….I watched with my husband and then again with my 15-year old daughter and 12-year old son…yes, some parts were graphic, but that’s life…survival of the fittest! Children should see it — you can’t let your kids live in a bubble! Excellent show — highly recommended. Keep up the good work PBS!!

  • Jackie

    ooops….forgot to mention that our labrador retriever thoroughly enjoyed the show as well…I’ve never seen her watch tv before, but between the howling of the wolves and the cinematography, she was transfixed :)

  • Tamara

    Shame on you Dennis Richard! You are objecting to true to nature film which we should all watch to learn from the wolves society. They take better care of their offspring than we do. Maybe you should cut out television to your children alltogether since most of the shows are brimming with violence and have no valuable lesson to teach. I agree with the viewer wgho told you “shove off”!

  • C.D

    dennis, you sound like the type of person who thinks that a little papercut is horribly bloody. baby. BIG baby.I’m 11 and i think that this documentary wasn’t THAT bloody.

  • Cindy F.

    Iwould like to say to Dennis,you need to turn off your t.v. if you are affriad for your children watching this type of program. This program was a joy for me tgo watch. I raised a wolf and coyote togther from pups. They gave me 10 years of joy. Watching this program brought back so many wonderful memories of my wolf and coyote. They were best of friends. Keep the documentries of wolves coming. These animals are so misunderstood. Man needs to learn more about them.

  • AK

    Absolutely stellar program! Kindly ignore what some have said and keep all aspects of the natural world in the shows! I’d love to see more documentaries on canines; they’re simply fascinating!

  • Teddy

    Very good program! I enjoyed it alot! I sometimes wonder how the camera men are able to record all of this without interupting what the animals are doing. I would love to see more documentries like this!
    Mr. Richards… As you can see, you have upset a lot of people with your unintelligent comment. In fact, most of the comments on this page are directed to you! I bet you feel special! I agree with everyone! You really need to lighten up. Your precious “children” are gonna have to grow up someday. You do understand that they are going to be exposed to much much worse subjects in the future? Those subjects i need not name. You know exactly what i speak of. Im not even going to suggest what you can do if you see something you dont want your children to see on T.V. So many smart people have suggested options for you. I cant belive youre not smart enough to do it yourself. The world has to many hippies like you. Why do you think it was shown at Prime time? Youre little children are supposed to tucked away in bed! And your worthless, stupid idea of a “Public Apology”. Thats gotta be the most ridiculous thing i have ever herd! You are probably the only person who was upset by the one scene! As you can see, you will never recive a “Public Apology” and you have been told to “shove off”. I have said enough. I’m gonna go eat my sandwich.

  • Dave

    I concur with the general reaction to Mr. Richard’s letter. This is pretty simple: if you don’t like it – CHANGE THE CHANNEL! This kind of whiny, cry-baby response to INTELLIGENT, REAL television programming (sorely lacking these days) is yet another droning instance of kneejerk regurgitation of stance that looks to dictate minority opinion and behavior to the (often silent, respectful) majority.

    Were there more thought-provoking, intelligent programming the likes of which is rarely seen beyond the purview of PBS stations perhaps the U.S. would see a collective IQ level to be proud of, instead of the steady decline all too obvious in today’s society, and the wasteful – WASTEFUL costs – behavioral and monetary – associated with it.

    Nobody likes whiners. GROW UP.

    Dave

  • Martha

    Finally, I saw this movie in Poland. It was amazing, the whole story of the druid peak wolves is fascinating, it was like an oscar movie!
    Thanks very much for that!
    Long live the druid peak pack! :)

  • Lucy

    i would like to say this is one of the most beautiful, sensational pieces I have ever seen on Nature (which is my FAVORITE show!!!!) The way this documentary captures the realities of life in Yellowstone and other place is just breath taking.
    I think it is important that SOMEBODY show just what it is like to be a wolf and not baby it down for us. and yes, tearing up other animals for food is one of the realities! take it as a life lesson.

    i would also like to say that i am a “child” that simply adores this show and can easily watch it no matter what the predator is tearing up.
    The Druid pack is the bomb! an inspiring story!

    Live on Druids, Live On!

  • Luciea Pettit

    I found out about this site with a very much appreciated hyper link from a group called Wolf/Dogs Need Homes.com….they are a very reputable organization and since I had the good fortune to rescue a Timber Wolf (’Shadow’), I learned a lot about wolves from him. I have to say I really enjoyed all these informative and exhilarating videos from Yellowstone! I will look forward soon, I hope, to be moving to WY. and hopefully see these astonishing animals! Thank You so much for putting all of this wonderful footage and informative info. together for all to enjoy. I am in awe of this. I do have a deep passion and compassion for wolves. They will always be a part of my life, my soul! Congratulations on a job well done to all the cinematographers, editors and all the staff who made all of this possible!!! Sincerely, Luciea

  • Ms Polly

    I agree with ms Kir, I thought it was wonderful, children need to understand how the world works and nature is a prim example. People are no different we have homes that are our territory, do we not fight for that, difference is we use guns and sometimes kill innocent people for what we believe in. They kill for survival. Anyone who has been hungry and has to hunt or fish for food understands the laws of nature. Turn you tv if you don’t think it is sutiable but nature is the only real thing our kids ever see. Don’t take that away from them

  • K9Ruggy

    Mr. Richards, with all due respect, wolves were here first. If you don’t like it, change the channel. Our children today see more violence and murders in their video games that can’t even compare. One statistic in the early 90’s showed that by the time a child graduates high school, he or she has seen 70,000 murders. What the wolves did to the coyote was not murder, its nature.

  • big al

    I think that overprotective parents are more offended then children….children who watch television cartoon shows that feature constant violence.

    What concerns me more is NOT showing Ryan Counts of Pray, Montana killing one of these even though she was wearing a radio collar and NOT showing the Alaska Board of Firsh and Game slaughtering them from aircraft.

    The Nature channel is even going to give Sarah Palin, who is in favor of slaughtering wolves, her own show about Alaska. Boycott Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.

  • Science Teacher

    I know for a fact that the majority of the folks that have posted a reply on this site will not recieve this. But to cool my nerves on this issue. Ladies and gentleman if a WOLF is involved on NATURE. Blood will be spilt. Why shelter a kid from the beauty of nature? As a public educator, so many kids walk through my door for his/her first year of Biology appalled to learn that the process of nature is to simply survive long enough to reproduce. Does this make me a bad teacher, or should I sugar coat it for folks who write emails in disgust for showing an educational program during primetime? I love nature for everything it is. In nature it is the strong who survive, in America it is he who is the minority and complains the most.

  • Robert, interested reader

    “I do not have children”. However, if I did, I would hope that my children would know that wolves are not like “Balto” but are instead dangerous animals, fiercely territorial and unpredictable. I would also rather they see and learn that fact through a program and not first hand “the hard way”.

  • Kobi G’Or (My Silver Wolf)

    I have read all of these comments, and I have watched almost every episode of “Nature”. They are ALL filmed with great cinematography, and spectacular narration. Anyone that is “appalled” by the facts of life, i.e. nature, needs to pull their head out of their proverbial maximus posteriorous, and be thankful for such shows, because sooner than later, many of the beautiful creatures that we see on shows such as “Nature” will only remain alive in our memories, as we are slowly killing off any creature that we are “offended” or “afraid” of. Humans need to understand that the animals are being run out of their natural habitat by “wanna be” adventurers who want to live out in the “woods” , but have no education NOR respect for the beauty of the land itself or the creatures that inhabit it!!!!!!!!!!!!! And after we have killed off the wolves, eagles, bears, fish, etc., we will eventually destroy the planet itself and humanity. Wake up people, appreciate what we have while we still have it!!!!

  • Mr. Carnochan

    I enjoyed this video of wolf interaction between their surrounding natural environment. I am a Canadian nature and wildlife photographer and also a fan of the wolf, probably one of the most misunderstood creature on our planet. The misunderstanding comes from OUR lack of intelligence when it comes to the wilds of nature. You can see it everywhere. We tend to gravitate towards the cute and cuddly but when we come across something mean and nasty we persecute it. Mr. Richards comments could be sound…but I think if he has been in the natural environment as he says why not show photos about it? Children need to learn about the wilderness and be respectful towards it, everyone does. Yes it can be gross to some but we have become soft and distant from nature. What happened in the years past when our children actually witnessed these acts by animals. Did the parents cry out and say “No more! Don’t watch that it will scar you for life!” I don’t think so. It was life back then. Grow up, appreciate the beauty in nature and stop sending stupid emails saying “I was upset by seeing an animal getting killed by another animal.”

    Keep up the great cinematography! Keep the photography flowing and get out and enjoy nature while it’s still here for us to enjoy and be a part of, not against it.

  • mr marcollo

    dennis richards ,
    thought it would be good to teach your children too , think about what you are doing(look before you leep !) , (what might happen if i do that ! ) . why do think we have an adrenaline response mechanizem, any one that has any kind of dog ,big or small we have witnessed there underlying prey drive. for your kids sake let them know about reality,don’t shelter them from the fundamentals of life. i live in a country where every second animal can do me harm !!, these were lessons i especially needed to learn as a child.

    regards AUSTRALIA

  • margie bowman

    reguards to both mr richards n how great this show was:
    1st mr richards how old r u i gather u arent old enough to remeber wild kingdom or even disneys take on nature they both showed the truth as a child i couldnt watch the eating part of anything or killing but as a adult i know this is how the chain works and have learn so much from knowing the order of things in nature,,,, ALL children must see how God works his magic, if they dont they will grow to be mislead on how the real world works. im sorry that u were raise in a sheltered home but things happen this way in nature…..
    now as far as this show I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT still cant watch the killing in eating sometimes but im so thrilled that the wolves are bk in yellowstone tytytytytytytytyty PBS….
    MR RICHARDS GET OVER IT N GROW A SET…..

  • MARGIE B AGAIN

    ok guys all things aside a couple of ya keep sayin hippie well guess what even us hippie arent all cry bbys i agree with everything yall said to Mr. richards n had some of my own to say but i grew up in the 70’s n have been round hippie groups most of my life n really it not a hippie that has that kind if mantality its just a poor sheltered child who had n over bearing parent not always a flower child who created that mind.
    other then that i agree hole heartly nature is that Natural completely uncontroll n on her own n if we dont understand her how can we defend her thank GOD for PBS…..

  • Ingram

    To all that found this program offensive …. People like you are the reason thatthe wolf was hunted to near extinction. You should spend more time with your kids educating them that we{ as humans} are not above nature but part of it instead of sitting them infront of a tv and expecting it to do what you feel is right. Antromorphisism has ruined our children in this country of Welfare checks and ignorance.

  • Carrie

    This was an amazing show and my daughter and I sat riveted. I grew up watching Mutual of Omaha as a child and I loved watching nature and understanding the dynamics of the wild. My daughter enjoyed this show very much and understands even the most basic principles of needing to eat and protecting – etc. How silly to think such a great show was offensive. We have watched it 5/6 times and not one tear nor nightmare from my daughter. I hope to see a follow up episode regarding how the Druids are doing. GREAT SHOW PBS!!!!

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  • guy lupo

    dennis richards you are a fool and a publicity hound, change the channel moron

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