Endangered Species

Episode Synopsis

Originally Aired December 16, 1986


    One of the most beautiful occurrences in nature is the adoption of orphaned or abandoned offspring of one species by another species.  A female rabbit adopting & nurturing an orphaned fawn.  Mother cats who adopt orphan puppies into their own litters.  The list goes on.  There have even been instances of animals adopting & raising human infants left orphaned or abandoned in the wild throughout history.  Some stories, such as Romulus & Remus, have been passed down through mythology.  Some accounts have sparked tales of fiction, such as Tarzan & The Jungle Book.  But for one young girl this was far from mythology or modern day fiction.  This was her reality.

    She neither knew nor cared that she was a human child being raised by wolves in a place other humans called India.  All she did know was that this jungle was her world, her universe.  The pack was her family & they provided her with love, warmth, shelter & food.  They taught her the skills to survive.  This was the only home & family she could remember.  In this, her reality, she was a happy & content wolf.

    Then one day her world & reality were shattered by the arrival of a new, menacing presence in the jungle.  The presence of creatures she had never seen or smelled before.  These strange creatures separated her from her family & trapped her.  They whisked the girl away from her home & she spent her days locked in cages traveling across a sea she never knew existed to a strange new land.  She was fighting for survival & these strange creatures seem to toy with her like a cat toys with a mouse before killing it.  They made strange noises & tried constantly to wrap her in strange materials that weren't hides from any animal she had ever known.  She was frightened & uncertain that she would survive.  Would these creatures finally kill her or would any of them ever be able to show her the caring & compassion she received from her family back home?  Oh, how she missed the love & warmth of her family.  Her only consolation was a wolf hide the strange, cruel creatures had fashioned into a sort of dress for her to wear.  It was the only thing that felt & smelled familiar in this strange new world of cold bare floors, walls & bars.

     Just when all seemed lost the same fate which had been so unkind was about to send her creatures who would be able to help her in more ways than she could have ever imagined.  Two of those creatures, Simon McKay & Alex Jagger, were sitting in a dimly lit auditorium one floor above her most recent cage uneasily watching a presentation on the capture of the so-called 'wolf-child'.  Simon & Alex exchanged dismayed glances as they watched her being separated from the pack.  The terror in her eyes when a net was dropped over her head.  These learned zoologists did not seem to care that this 'catch of a lifetime' was a child.  They thought of her as nothing more than a toy & a trophy.  The prize of their collection.  They acted more like big game hunters than zoologists.

    What upset Simon even more was that the zoologist in charge of the project was an old friend & former colleague.  Simon had respected his work in the past, but was saddened & sickened to see this unexpected side of his friend.  He seemed to only care about the 'wolf behavior' the girl exhibited.  He just didn't seem to care about helping her to assimilate back into the human world.  Simon realized that all they had succeeded in teaching the girl was that humans were threatening creatures & not to be trusted. 

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