Meet Jim and Jamie Dutcher. They have opted to live with a pack of wolves in the Idaho wilderness for six years in a constant but largely unobtrusive way.
In time, they earned the unshakable trust of the wolves and came to know them not as wild dogs, but as complex and intelligent animals. They did this to show the hidden life of wolves.
“Only a select few other species exhibit these same traits so clearly,” they note. “They are capable of not only emotion but also real compassion.
This is the view of the wolf that we want to share… it is an animal that cares for its sick and desperately needs to be part of something bigger than itself – the pack. The bond a wolf has to its pack is certainly as strong as the bond a human being has to his or her family.”
“Rarely did two wolves pass each other without playfully rubbing shoulders together or exchanging a brief lick. so often we would see two wolves relaxing together, Curled up beside each other.”
The Dutchers also recount wolf behavior rarely documented: grief at the death of a pack mate; excitement over the birth of pups; and the shared role of raising young pack members.
However, wolves are still largely demonized as ruthless killers, which has made reestablishing themselves in the American west nearly impossible.
“As we see wolves, once again, being shot, trapped and poisoned, we recognize that our unique experience, living with wolves, is unlikely to ever happen again, and for that reason we feel that we have an obligation to share the lives of these wolves with the widest audience possible,” the Dutchers note.
The Dutchners were able to form such an incredible bond with the wolves.