As Winter turns to the meteorological Spring, I realise that my wolf field season has drawn to an end. Data collected, wolfy friends and memories made – I take one last walk among the wolves, now knowing each wolf as its own individual……..
………Nuka, the most submissive, dominant wolf there ever was. Tala, with the ferocity of a thousand suns. Tundra, illusive but firm when it comes to leading HER pack. Mai, laid-back, friendly, quite the hippy! Motomo a strapping looking lad, wary of humans, he will not approach them even for food. Massak, an alpha male and the biggest wolf of 55-60kg, who generally keeps his brother, Pukak in line. Pukak a greedy, but very loveable boy. Sikko, she might be small, but she’s the wolf to watch as she likes to cause a bit of kerfuffle, especially between her brothers! Mosi, generally a happy-go-lucky girl, but does have a dark-side to her when it comes to new people! Then there’s Torak, the guy with the rock voice, who spent most of his time howling his heart out (he only does this during the mating season though) and patrolling his territory like it was a Glastonbury stage! Needless to say wolves ROCK!!
Despite the difficulties I encountered to do my research, technical issues and weather conditions (rain, hail and snow!), I loved every second. I never thought I could be fascinated by wolves more than I was before starting my fieldwork – I never thought I could love these magnificent animals more – but, I was wrong, wolves are truly amazing. They have an intelligence that surpasses the majority of animals I have ever known, they are puzzle solvers, they calculate and anticipate the movements of others around them, and they never fail to astonish me…….not only are they intelligent, but they are stunning to look at, beautiful, with striking eyes – the eyes of a wolf are their most enthralling feature – when a wolf stares at you, it’s as if it is staring straight into your soul, you cannot look away and you find yourself staring straight back, in a trance, rightly captivated.
But now, I return to my life in the office back at Durham, to wade through countless videos of wolves, to see what they see…….through the eyes of wolf………