'Wolfman' who lives with pack of wolves and even sleeps in enclosure fears they could be put down after council refuses permission for a new reserve

A man who lives alongside wolves as one of their pack fears they could all be put down after a council refused planning permission for his new reserve.

Shaun Ellis - known as The Wolfman - lives with the wolves in their enclosure at the sanctuary in Come Martin, Devon.

Shaun, 48, has spent 27 years working with the same creatures - even spending nights sleeping in their enclosure with them.

He used to care for the wolves at Combe Martin Wildlife Park but 18 months ago re-homed them at his nearby Newberry Farm.

Officials at North Devon Council originally said no planning permission was required for changes to use to his land.

But following a complaint from a neighbour the council said a retrospective planning application was needed - which has now been declined.

Shaun says the decision could leave the animals homeless and fears with no home they would have to be put down.

He said: 'The wildlife park had to be a bit more commercial and we wanted to go down the educational route. We wanted slightly different things.

'The wolves are like family to me and to have to put them down would ruin my life. We would never find a home for them. We tried before and you just cannot do it.

'We would love to give local people the opportunity to come up, book a day with us and find out what we are doing.

'When you see what they are about I think people will have a completely different outlook.

'We want a damn good reason for them to turn this down. I do not see sense in all the arguments they put forward.'

An application was handed to the council in April but was turned down at the end of October.

The council stated three reasons why the planning application had been turned down.

The first was that the site lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and does not preserve or enhance the natural beauty of the surrounding environment.

Secondly, the council believes the site will cause noise nuisance to surrounding houses.

It also said the volume of traffic entering the site will increase, causing a potential danger.

Dawn Fletcher, who deals with the farm's marketing, said the decision was made by one planning officer.

Shaun says he now has one of two options - to appeal the council's refusal or submit a new planning application.

Responses to "Shaun Eillis, 48, has spent 27 years sleeping in enclosure with wolves"

  1. pavloveia says:

    This would be awful if it happens. I would hate to see all those years of working with the wolves end. It would be devastating if the wolves had to be put down. Please don't let this happen.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Greetings from Norway. May mother nature arise the wolves to a new and better beginning. Good luck with everything.
    Best wishes.

  3. Janet says:

    Hang in there. Hopefully if you reapply someone with common sense will review your application and okay it. It's crazy not to let you have the permit. How can they say your amazing wolves don't contribute "to the beauty of the environment?" I hope we are kept up with how things are going for you. Blessings and peace.....

  4. Anonymous says:

    Maybe you should feed the asshole who turned down your application to the wolves as a cautionary tale. With Curry

  5. Unknown says:

    I really hope that you can change things around - dont give up, dont accept council decision, reapply, counter argue ( regarding Nature and natural habitat, enhancement of the beauty spot area, traffic etc) , start a online petition and submit the signatures to council etc !! GOOD LUCK !!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Start a Petition! I will sign itI

  7. Anonymous says:

  8. Unknown says:

    It would be a senseless tragedy if these magnificent creatures were to be put down because of a planning decision. Surely there must be something we can do to help the cause, and allow the wolves and Shaun and his friends the capability to continue out their lives in peace and education.

  9. Grant Damron says:

    I have lived with wolves most of my life, I'm 57, and have had to deal with peoples ignorance and stupidity most of that time. I love to hear wolves howl, what noise? They don't bark like dogs. You know what a wolf is going to do,good luck trying to get humans to make sense. It will be a very sad day if your pack has to go. I am so sorry people are so stupid and selfish. I have been blessed to have my wolves accept me as their family. I wish you luck with your plans.

  10. Unknown says:

    Yes, start a petition & I know people that will sign! Beautiful work you're doing with these magnificent creatures. Don't give up!.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I feel so bad for you cause i know these dogs are like family, i pray the board changes it mind an doesn't brake up your family , i will keep you in my prayers Good Luck

  12. Unknown says:

    This would be a senseless tragedy based on politics. I agree with Scott-there must be something that can be done to save these magnificent animals!

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is awful ! I pray that a solution can be worked out . It is senseless to lose these beautiful animals and all the hard work and time you have put into caring , learning and loving these beautiful animals. I agree something must be done to save these beautiful animals

  14. Unknown says:

    I, too, have lived with wolves for the past 17 years. I fear that humans can't see the nobility of these wonderful creatures because we are loosing ours.

  15. WP says:

    I really hope they can stay, my heart goes out to you for I know the love you have for them! If there is anything we can do to help please let us know! Petition?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Lot's of love, light and support to you guys!!! may the new world arising now bring understanding of the mind of officials and your amazing work be blessed with prosperity!!!

  17. Gretchen Griffith-David says:

    Sending Love and Light to you and our 4 legged brothers and sisters.
    May you all stay safe where you are...may you spread the word of the amazing lives our Wolf family lead.
    I have followed the work of Shaun for many years and cannot for the life of me understand why he has to go to planning.Perhaps a petition should be organized as others have suggested.
    Let us all join together to send positive thought towards Shaun and the Wolves and surround them with protective white light.
    Love and Blessings to you Shaun xx.

  18. Bonjour, j'ai lu le livre de SHAUN Eillis, du vrai bonheur, plein de sensibilité de réalité.
    Un bel exemple, il est possible de se rapprocher des animaux "sauvages"!, mais qui est véritablement sauvage l'homme ou l'animal ?? longue vie aux loups!!!

  19. Anonymous says:


  20. i love wolfs how can i help u wish i can live with them to

  21. Anonymous says:

    Get petitions started and go to the newspapers and TV stations. Go to the state capital. Go way over this idiot's head. They are wonderful animals and NO WAY SHOULD THEY BE PUT DOWN. God be with you and your amazing wolves.

  22. Anonymous says:

    is so awful how politicians think.were these lovely creatures go.all my respect n support to you.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I think it is unfair of the council to reject Shaun's application after already allowing him to move his wolves. All of this should of been taken into considerations before allowing the move in the first place. Good luck to you Shaun and your wolves.

  24. Unknown says:

    Some one should start one of the Facebook worldwide petitioner, as normal that can turn the councils decision.
    I dont know how to start one, but i will damn well sign it and pass it on to my friends

  25. Unknown says:

  26. Anonymous says:

    wow, i would love to see more pics of you and your wolves they really are beautiful and majestic animals thank you for sharing the pics you have shown us so far.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Shaun, I sincerely hope the authorities will change their minds. I agree with some of the previous comments. Have people come to the reserve and let them sign petitions and start an online petition. In the worst case scenario, there are centers that could probably house the wolves such as wolf haven international and international wolf center. But I sincerely hope it does not come to this...

  28. Anonymous says:

    i just been give this link today i have read what happing 3 ression thay should give you 1 wolf are apart of national beauty 2 nutices i dont think so i do vol work with rspca and that near home its a bit nosey but thats not a problem people adapt to it 3 and for the traffic build mini car park.i dont know the area were it is but this is what i think the council dont know what thay on about what about zoos there neaer homes nothing gets said to them and thay have load of noise and traffic problems people have to start from some i will say this good luck in get the wolf a life you doing a fine job

  29. Anonymous says:

    I love what you are doing Shaun, good luck to you - I hope that someone will learn about this and offer you some options.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Get a petition going I will sign it.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Some great ideas here, I like the comments, I'll be happy to sign a petition -- best of wishes and thank you for what you are doing for these animals and for us humans who need to be educated about them - never give up

  32. Unknown says:

    I pray you will find a way to obtain a reversal of the decision. I have had the extreme honour and pleasure to live a short period of time with a wolf. She was extremely intelligent and so very intuitive. Wolves are wonderful animals and my every prayer is that things will work out for you and your wolf family. I too will be happy to sign a petition.

  33. Angelwolf says:

    Over the years I have watched documentaries of Shaun and what he does with these wolves, the work he does is amazing. He isn't just a man working with wolves he is a part of the pack in the pecking order. Seeing him go from Alpha to a less dominant male and that of a partner of his become a member of the pack too. The work he and his team does and the information that he provides is invaluable into the insight of how wolves live and work is vital for us to understand and appreciate these beautiful misunderstood and under-understood animals. I hope for his and his packs sake that everything gets sorted out in his favour. Bright Blessings and Love and Light

  34. Good luck-Australia,Patted a wolf at the Serbian zoo.

  35. Good luck-Australia

  36. Unknown says:

    What you are doing with the wolves is amazing, I would love to come up and see them and the way they are with you. My son has been to see them and told me it was a fantastic experience. I think you should get up a petition fast. I will definitely sign it and I know for sure that my son will. Keep up this amazing thing you are doing. I wish you all the luck in the world.

  37. Morgana says:

    So many comments here about continuing the sacred job with the wolves, please let them keep up their amazing things they do with the adorable wolves. God bless you all.

  38. Anonymous says:

    No these animals should not be put down! You are doing a wonderful thing with them.It would be exciting to have an experience like you.I would love it.I really hope everything works out in your favor. As it should.Good luck!

  39. Anonymous says:

    In the name of life, this is a "must" to let live those wolves. We are in 2013 and people has to respect nature and lit LIVE !

  40. TrickyRic says:

    We live in a world of stupidity. People who are afraid of something they don't understand feel the way to deal with it is to dispose of it. I have a hybrid who lives with me and my female Pit. Both are considered dangerous to a lot of people who don't know the truth. The Love me and they love each other. Wolves are different, they aren't dogs and need a different type of understanding but, they can share their love like any creature. The Indians respected the wolf as well as all nature, we didn't understand the Indian so we tried to dispose of them too. There are many of us that will help if you let us know what we can do.

  41. malpaull says:

    Hey man hello from Ireland. Your page is amazing and I love these animals more than anything . Their elegance and beauty never stops astounding me. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photographs and keep up the good work. Mal

  42. Unknown says:

    I am so sick of officials and people who don't want to be a part of a nature. Humans moving into lands that were inhibited by wild life and won't even concider sharing. Humans are over populating the Eart, killing nature, trashing everything. We should do all we can to help these great creatures have a life they deserve. Not to be left at mercy some bacward official prick! Growling....

  43. Anonymous says:

    I agree..start a petition, I will gladly sign it! You are doing a wonderful thing with these widely misunderstood creatures and you should be allowed to continue doing so. The Wolf IS ESSENTIAL!!Please keep us updated on this matter and best of luck to you!

  44. Anonymous says:

    Where is the petition? Went to the site link posted above but can't find petition link…

  45. Unknown says:

    I wonder what the update on this is. The original story was dated December of 2012. Hope he was able to get thru to sensible minded people and the wolves are still alive and thriving. It may be the only place left where wolves are alive seeing as mankind is trying to kill off any living in the wild here in the USA. It makes me sick every time I hear ignorant people say that wolves are not important to our ecco system.

  46. lyn miller says:

    i love wolves...people are scared of them and see wolves as a danger...people are the danger...wolves are misunderstood ...the people are ignorant not the wolves..wolves are more intelligent...people needs to be educated...not the wolves...

  47. Susan Bond says:

    The ignorance in the world is beyond belief. What you have accomplished and taught the world about wolves cannot go unnoticed and to take all that away would be criminal. I know that you will never give up, as none of your supporters will never give up standing beside you. Sending you love and hope and blessings.

  48. Unknown says:


  49. Laura McKee says:

    i think he should get his plans approved. i don't think its right him getting the run around at all. like people animals need to be taking care of too. i think the wolves are beautiful creatures and never heard of a wolf being loud.

  50. Anonymous says:

    nice thing you do. hello from Oklahoma how I wish I could. they ought to leave them alone. they are amazing animals. I had hybrid once and loved him to pieces but I went to work and someone did a fly by and shot him and few farmers animals down road never found out who but many have idea. that when I lived in Maine. I now here in west love it would love to have a rescue for them here. God bless on what you do. may the spirit of the wolves stay with you.. hugs.. kim walker

  51. kim (squirrel) waker says:

    I would love to sign the paper for you hun. it's amazing what you do. They need leave you alone and the wolves. if I can help let me know kim walker

  52. Anonymous says:

    Wolves are the most misunderstood animal in the world. Wolves are such beautiful creatures and will shy away from mankind as much as possible. Shaun Ellis should have his application approved and be allowed to take care of his wolves as he has been doing for 27 years. Mankind has maligned the wolves so much down through history that now it seems it's okay to kill them simply because they are in the way or just because they are wild, like they have no worth. Wolves have their place in the balance of nature or God would not have created them. I sincerely hope that Shaun can find a way to keep his wolves and continue to live with him. I envy him. I love wolves !!

  53. darcy says:

    Bless you, fellow wolf lover! I hope you are able to talk sense to the powers that be and get the ok to home these wolves!! Maybe, as far as the traffic goes, you might be able to have people make appt ahead and only so many people per day...then the neighbors would have no complaint...People are so complacent when it comes to animals. For the most part it is the super spoiled rotten humans that make the most noise about animals in their surroundings. Well, too bad folks, the animals have as much right to the land as humans "think" they do!!

  54. Unknown says:

    This is horrible, and the people that are complaining need to stop and think about it, we are NOT god and are no better than any other living creature, with a RIGHT to live

  55. Sending you all Lots of LOVE and positive energy! They ADD BEAUTY and they are too important! A way will be found! <3

  56. Anonymous says:

    That neighbour who complained must be either related or paid off the councillor, or is he just a diehard animal hater???? if he wants to complain about noise go and live back in the city where there are lots of noise 24/7.... if you live in a rural area you have to expect a little noise now and then, is'nt that what nature is all about.....i for one commend what Shaun and his team are doing for these beautiful creatures, its us humans who should be better educated and be more tolerant....after all said and done it was the human who invaded the animal kingdom - - - - - - - - - -

  57. Unknown says:

    Bonjour je me presente sabrina j'aimerai savoir si vous faite des formation . J'aimerai trouver une persone qui peux me former sur le conportement des loups merci

  58. Pammy Bean says:

    Start a petition and I, along with many others, would be pleased and proud to sign it. I am a lover of wolves and feel they are worth fighting for in everyway possible ----- Don't take NO for an answer

  59. Unknown says:

    wow... yu live a life with wolves.. i myself would dream of.. beautiful they are. they are my spirit guide spirit is up with thee council. yu do a wonderful job. they are also in a natural setting not only that they are destroying the life that that have with yu in these surroundings and what they doing to these wolves.... cant they just leave them yu alone let yu be them be... good luck..

  60. Robert Boldman Wolf says:

    please dont give up you have done an amazeing thing
    they need us
    wish i could come see it personally

  61. I will be willing to take some (2) of your wolves if I can help in other ways let me know , I do not wish these babies put down, it breaks my heart.

  62. ken parker says:

    I hope you don't have to have those wolves put down would be a dam shame to do that
    I know some people I would kill before killing an animal I wish people would leave the wolves
    alone I wish you the best of luck.

  63. Unknown says:


  64. pilvikki says:

    well, this sucks...

    putting the wolves down is totally unacceptable!

  65. Unknown says:

    This man along with his partner are amazing.

  66. Laurna says:

    Get someone behind you Brian May or your MP although the latter might not work - Can you get a petition going you have a lot of comments Im sure a lot of people will sign it. I will good luck xc

  67. Anonymous says:

    Looks like stupidity runs rampant in this situation. Get a petition going. I'll sign it in a heartbeat. Howling wolves are something I really miss since moving into the city. There used to be a pack that ran across my property & I could almost set my clock by their appearance around dark-thirty nightly. Beautiful sounds. Such a tragedy for some uneducated person should destroy them.

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