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What is the safest way for a wolf to carry a human baby?

Discussion in 'Research' started by matanya, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. matanya

    matanya Dreamer

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    A charachter of mine transformed himself into a wolf and he needs to carry a baby somwhere, what would be the safest way for him to do so? (I know wolves usualy carry their cubs by their scruff, but is it posssible for a human baby as well?).

    NOTE:
    1) The baby was just born(he wasn't even cleaned after his birth).
    2) Assume the wolf had some time(in human form) to prepare for this event(so he could have created somthing to help him carry the baby).
    3) Since the baby was just born, I assume he would be crying, would it affect the way of carrying him?

    Thanks.
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    The baby dies.
    The only way a wolf picks up a baby is with its teeth. There's tender, juicy meat covered in blood.
    The baby dies.
    Unless the journey is very short, even if the baby is in a carrier, it dies of exposure.
    Also, wolves are pack animals, so ...
    The baby dies.

    You sure you can't just use a friendly woodcutter or ranger?
     
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Simpson17866 and matanya like this.
  4. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    So if the wolf is a shifter, he could have wrapped the baby in a blanket before shifting (or jacket, whatever) and just lift that by the teeth.

    I kinda wonder how heavy that would be and whether in wolf form he could carry it for very long without taking breaks, but it seems doable.
     
    matanya likes this.
  5. matanya

    matanya Dreamer

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    The wolf IS friendly(he was a human who intentially transformed himself into a wolf, and he keeps his human intelligence even after the transformation).
    The journy is short and I'm more concerned about the immediate danger(like having the baby's neck accidantly snapped or somthing). So long the baby survives the trip it's fine by me, since he would magicly heal shortly afterwards.

    And yes, it has to be a wolf.
     
  6. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    The only thing a wolf has to use to carry is its mouth.

    Then your choice is, does it carry the baby directly, or via a blanket or sling or something.

    Both are possible, both work fine. I have worked with dogs forever and a dog can be trained to carry something fragile very gently with its mouth, so if your character maintains intelligence, no problem at all for me.
     
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  7. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    I know a dog that carries its own poop bags back home.
    Now that is what I call training.
    I'm presuming the man walking with the dog does the actual poop bagging...
     
  8. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Gives new meaning to the phrase, Man, your breath smells like dog s***."


    I think if the wolf had enough intelligence to be careful in transporting the baby, and not inclined to do something animal... I could manage the feat with only minor wear on the infant. If it had enough wits to make a container or liter, then I suppose it could do that too.

    However, the further, rougher the terrain, the greater the need for urgency and moving at great speed, the more unlikely I think it that the child would arrive unhurt, and or not put into something life threatening just by way of its means of travel.

    I am pretty sure Disney would have the wolf pick up the kid by its diaper.
     
  9. Horus

    Horus Scribe

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    Given the wolf in question was human, he'd be able to wrap the baby in something. Or if the child is old enough, they could be clothed in something. I have seen a dog carry a baby before by the collar of her "footie" pajamas. That said, the dog in question was a huge sheep dog of some kind, and was pretty gentle about the whole thing. Wasn't like it was planning to run away with the kid at top speeds. And it is also worth mentioning that the kid was almost a year old, or more (not a huge baby fan). I'm not sure how it would pan out with a newborn, but newborn babies are fragile enough that people can kill/harm them just by holding/moving them wrong.

    Edit: On another note, the idea of wolves/dogs caring or raising children isn't really far fetched. I mean Romans date their two founders back to being literally raised by wolves, and stories abound about this kind of thing from ancient societies across the globe up until modern day videos/images. Not sure what the fascination is with it, but from a pure writing perspective, there is a certain attraction to it that fascinates people. If it works to enhance the story, it might be a point to suspend disbelief around the specific physics involved...
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
    matanya likes this.
  10. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    They are also flexible and almost bounce-able if dropped. They can get away with very little injury accidents that you think should kill them. The trouble is if they are injured then it could be very serious.
    I don't suggest dropping babies to see how well they bounce.
     
  11. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

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    In human form I would make a small wood sled to place the baby inside surrounded by soft leaves and grass bedding. There would be a harness to place in my mouth or over my shoulders in wolf form to pull the sled.
     
  12. gia

    gia Scribe

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    We had a german shepherd that rescued a newborn moose once. The just brand new and abandoned moose had also not been cleaned and the first thing our dog did was lick it clean...it's a natural instinct with newborns and mothers.

    And I do think the newborn has to get into some kind of covering fairly fast...it won't be the teeth of the wolf that harm it but hypothermia.
     
  13. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Inkling

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    I think this is a 2 part question:

    1. Can the teeth, fangs and molars, carry a newborn without causing major trauma?

    2. If not wrapped in a blanket, clothing, or some pre-made transport apparatus, What bodily position is the safest to transport a human infant?

    I think the wolf would have to carry the infant towards the rear of the mouth with the slightly more rounded, flatter teeth. It's smart, so it'll use no more biting pressure than is necessary to keep the infant held. Problem Solved. There will likely be deep bruising, maybe some skin puncturing. But, infant should survive.

    As far as *where* to best position a naked infant to be carried by a wolf's mouth... the most crucial thing is head/neck support. This suggests 'upright' positioning of the infant. My best guess, as there is no 'scruff' of the neck, is for a wolf to basically clamp over an entire shoulder, diagonally over the torso like a seat belt. The upper jaw would contact the chest, the lower jaw supports the back. The neck and head could be supported upright by virtue that wolves/dogs have muscles, skin, and supportive tissue where the jaw attaches to the skull. Keeping the head upright/supported in this mouth webbing/membrane might be possible by having the wolf somewhat tilt its head while tucking its head against part of its own chest/body. Basically, the softer flappy parts of the mouth would cup the neck, but there would be no teeth around the windpipe. The infant's head would have direct contact with the wolf's cheek. One infant arm would be pinned to the body inside the wolf's mouth, the other limbs would not and be free to move. The baby's head shouldn't ever be hyperextend backwards... but it can move forward and to the side somewhat. (Some newborns have enough neck muscle development to move their own heads.) The wolf would basically have to balance the infant, like carrying a glass of water. Keep it as upright and stable as possible.

    I could also see the wolf carrying the infant length-wise acoss the torso/belly, all limbs free, butt-first in the wolf's mouth. The infant would have its head and chest face down, towards the ground. The whole body would basically be held level in the wolf's mouth. The baby's head, in this configuration, is at least going to rest on the infant's chest... which is better than drooping / flopping backwards, but still not ideal. Care would need to be taken to make sure the baby isn't effectively carried upside down with blood rushing to its head.

    Being carried in a wolf's hot, humid mouth, and exhaled upon from the wolf's core body temperature, ( I think it's around 102* F) should keep the infant's core temperature from dropping too quickly. Physical bodily contact can be the edge needed to survive brief exposure. Frostbite is a huge concern. Hospitals today are kept at 67* to 72*F, on average. An infant will not perish if left exposed to 'normal' ambient temperature for reasonable amounts of time. If we're talking driving rain, extreme heat/ sun exposure, snow, etc. then move with haste.

    At any case, an infant stands a better chance of surviving a short trip in a wolf's mouth vs. being left to die of exposure.

    Also, the wolf would need to clear the baby's airways and clamp/cut the umbellical cord. I'm assuming the birth mother's post-birth safety is not a huge consideration under the conditions(?), but the umbellical cord issue needs to be properly addressed for the survival of the infant. If not done properly, the uterus of the mother may prolapse if the placenta hasn't finished detaching and a wolf yanks/gnaws on the umbellical cord. (It may also cause one or both to bleed to death in extreme scenarios.)

    This wolf seems especially pressed for time... making use of human form with handy opposable thumbs, might be the best use of said limited time. Once the baby is cleared of the birth canal, suck out the airways, clamp in two places on the cord, cut between the clamps, swaddle the infant, then turn into a wolf and go. If there are no other complications and preformed skillfully, these steps would take mere moments in an emergency situation.
     
  14. Rkcapps

    Rkcapps Sage

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    I don't think I could suspend belief, as a reader, if a wolf carried a baby, but then again, I've grown up around a dozen dogs in the house. Yes, wolves are smart enough to carry gently, but I think if you wanted to suspend my belief you'd need to also address the weight of the baby v the size/strength of the wolf. It'd need a super strong jaw!
     
  15. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Inkling

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    Also...the weight issue that posters keep addressing. Could a wolf carry a baby for a while in its mouth? Yep... Pretty sure that's not a problem.

    If domestic dogs have the jaw/ tooth root strength to be picked up off the floor by their mouth while clamping onto a chew toy, their teeth and jaw strength is supporting- at minimum- their own body weight. Granted, not all breeds can, but as a rule, that's easily done.

    Wolves don't spend their time playing with owners and chew toys. They hunt down prey alone or in copperation of the pack. Sometimes, very large animals that don't want to be eaten. By that logic, trying to clamp onto a kicking leg or jugular requires jaw strength and stamina. I would think that the bite strength, like a dog, would at minimum be equal to the wolf's weight, say 80 to 120+ lbs. And, tug-o-war? Two animals fighting, leveraging their own body weight plus an opponents partial weight- all by their teeth.

    Wolves also scavenge. Hauling off carcasses and partial carcasses is important to their survival strategy as a species. Again, large animals have some heft to them. . .

    Let's say a large human newborn might weigh, 10lbs. If it's a larger wolf, say over the 120lbs mark, that means it's carrying less than a tenth of its own weight by teeth and jaws designed to clamp on and bring down large prey. They can also use enough dexterity to not kill their own pups when schleping them around by the scruff of the neck. A pup gets kind of hefty, too.

    I don't see an infant being carried by a wolf without *some* minor bruising or abrasion, and some considerable drool. But, I'm not seeing a bloodbath, either.
     
  16. TinyHippo

    TinyHippo Scribe

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    I have a good factual answer to this one... I trained my dog to lift groceries back from the store. He just about the size of a wolf, as he is a labrador at 38kg. He can easily carry 3-4kg several kilometers and he can do it very gently.

    Here are my concerns. A wolf mouth is not big enough to fully fit a baby and you will probably hurt it by lifting it in it's arm or something. So some form of sling is needed.
    The other thing is the exposure. I would think this is a problem, by I do not really feel qualified to comment on it..
     
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