One local man here doesn’t feel that way though. Arkan Hurr Shiyaa, who lives in the Jussan area, around 90 kilometres east of Kut city, loves wolves; the 50-year-old has been breeding them for over two decades now and visitors often come to his place to see the wolves up close. Shiyaa considers himself an amateur breeder only. His real job? Somewhat ironically, he’s a shepherd.
For locals protecting their livestock in the land around the eastern Iraqi city of Kut, wolves are animals to be feared. Growing as long as two meters and standing as tall as a meter high, the Arabian wolf can be a frightening prospect. Various species of wolves roam here in packs and can run as fast as 40 kilometres an hour when they’re sprinting. It’s no wonder Iraqi children make up scary stories about them.