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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Call of the wild: Stunning images capture couple's extraordinary bond with wolves after spending SIX YEARS living among them

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Dangerously close: Jamie Dutcher and her husband lived in a tent within the world's largest wolf enclosure in a bid to observe and document the behaviour of the wild animals

Most people run from wolves but one brave couple spent six years of their lives living with the feared creatures in an effort to better understand their way of life.
Jim and Jamie Dutcher lived in a tent within the world's largest wolf enclosure in a bid to observe and document the behaviour of the wild animals.
The married couple lived without electricity or running water and braved temperatures of -40 Farenheit as they spent six years living in the 25 acre enclosure on the edge of Idaho's Sawtooth wilderness.

Comfortable: Jim and Jamie lived without electricity or running water and braved temperatures of -40 Farenheit during the six years they spent with the wolves

And as these intimate images show, Jim, 69 and Jamie, 50, formed an incredible bond with the animals and gained a unique insight into the lives and behaviour of wolves.
By socialising with the pack from when they were pups, Jim and Jamie were able to gain the wolves trust and observe their behaviour in a way that few people ever have.

Artist: Prior to their move into the wild, Jim worked as a wildlife filmmaker

They bottle fed the wolves as cubs, watched them mature, establish a hierarchy within the pack, produce their own offspring and even witnessed the pack mourn the death of a loved one.
The couple then captured the intimate lives of the wolf pack on film, in a bid to dispel myths about the animals and show a different side to the usually socially-guarded animals.

Adjusting: By socialising with the pack from when they were pups, Jim and Jamie were able to gain the wolves trust and observe their behaviour in a way that few people ever have

Familial: The Dutchers formed an incredible bond with the animals and gained a unique insight into the lives and behaviour of wolves

Since birth: The couple got so close that they were able to bottle fed the wolves as cubs

Waiting it out: Jim said 'If you try to film a wolf they stop doing what they are doing and move on, so it's incredibly hard to photograph them in their natural habitat or document their behaviour'

Jim said: 'Wolves are very afraid of people and they're also very intelligent animals so it is almost impossible to film them close up.
'If you try to film a wolf they stop doing what they are doing and move on, so it's incredibly hard to photograph them in their natural habitat or document their behaviour.
'But staying in the wolves natural habitat enabled us to watch and film them while they carried on carefree.

Dangerous: Because the couple eased into the surroundings and became accepted members of the area, the wolves did not normally show their threatening side to the Dutchers

'We lived in a tented camp within the wolves’ territory, a constant but unobtrusive presence, documenting, recording, and photographing life inside the pack.
'We formed a deep relationship with the wolves that went far beyond simple habituation to humans.
'It was the kind of unshakable trust that wolves usually share only with their own pack, a bond that would last a lifetime.

Coexist: Jim and Jamie believe that animals and humans can live together without harming one another

'Everything was on the wolves' terms. We never approached them, they came to us if they wanted to.
'When we would get up in the morning, and left our tent, they would greet us as they would greet each other. They would each come over and whine and lick our faces, then, as soon as it started, it ended and they went about their business.
'We never tried to dominate the wolves in anyway, in turn, the wolves never tried to dominate us nor submit to us. We kept things very neutral, we didn't want our presence to affect how they behaved toward each other. We were a bit like wall paper.

Bare necessities: The couple left reserve every 7-10 days to get provisions but stayed in their tent the rest of the time

source: dailymail



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