Simultaneously a scientifically rigorous study and a love story of immense dedication, often heartrending. During fifteen plus years, nigh-daily, rising at 03:15, often working in dangerously sub-zero temperatures, the author observed Yellowstone Wolf Restoration Project wolves. That involved five or more lupine generations.
Whilst adhering to an Ethologist’s non-interfering discipline, performing unbiased reporting, he bonded emotionally with exceptional individuals. He is honest about it. And he masterfully takes his readers with him!
Some brief delving into necessary terminology is necessary here—anyone who has observed canines at play or mating knows a play bow when they see it, and what a mating tie-up involves. Other behaviors, presented in clear and non-technical language, allow the reader to follow the narrative effortlessly; with one exception. Employing tranquilizer darts, some individuals are collared with devices that emit locating signals (and, tragically, signal mortality). Those animals are designated by number thereafter. Others are bestowed with convenience names to facilitate observer discussions. A reader must adapt to this bifurcated nomenclature in order to follow events and actions.||At risk of my being a spoiler, what is revealed is the true societal role of Alpha Female Wolves, they who determine successful pup rearing, who select Alpha males, and who shape the – call it philosophy – of their packs.
A magnificent and wonderfully readable work.