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The Stories of Wolves

bigImage "Operation Wolfstock"

Until recent years, wolves had not been seen in Yellowstone National Park since the 1940s. Over time, various groups and individuals championed the cause of the wolf in the hope that one day the species might be returned to its native habitat.

After prolonged debate, wolf reintroduction was finally legislated in 1994. For the inaugural reintroduction project, gray wolves were trapped in Alberta, Canada, and transported to Yellowstone by plane, horse trailer, and mule-drawn sled. Dubbed "Operation Wolfstock," the highly controversial effort resulted from the long-term planning, dedication and struggle of hundreds of people from many walks of life, all of whom shared a desire to see the wolf come home.

Pack Particulars

WOLVES reveals many little-known facts about this elusive creature. The film’s in-depth investigation of life in a wolf pack reveals a surprisingly secure, ordered, and nurturing family unit. Strict rules and a hierarchy dominated by an "alpha’ male and female, govern the pack's size, range, and chances for survival.

As the only female likely to breed, the alpha female guides a pack's existence. She determines the location for her den site, thereby stipulating exactly where the pack lives and hunts in the pups' early weeks.

Usually born in May, wolf pups are only moved from the protection of their den in their first three weeks of life if the den is threatened. Once this intensive denning period ends, the rest of the pack meets the pups and takes on responsibility for feeding the young ones and teaching them such vital skills as how to hunt and how to behave as a member of a pack.

Wolves vs. Muskox

On Ellesmere Island, the primary large prey animal is the muskox. In such inhospitable territory, a wolf pack may need a thousand square miles of territory to roam if it is to find enough food to survive. The first task of locating prey is only the beginning of a very dangerous undertaking that fails far more frequently than it succeeds.

Though wolves are capable of killing animals ten times their weight, some species of their prey have adapted effective means of defeating wolf attacks. The muskox is a formidable creature, strong and well equipped to defend itself against attack. The animals possess sharp hooves and curved horns. When they are under attack, they position themselves in a defensive formation that is nearly impossible to breach. Even a small group of muskox makes a significant adversary, so there is little chance for an attacker that attempts a head-on confrontation. Shoulder-to-shoulder, they duck and whirl about, while the white flashes of the Arctic Wolves move with them. Less harm can come to the wolf pack if the members stick together.

The wolves’ strategy is straightforward. First they test the herd by making the muskox run. This will enable the wolves to discern if there are any injured, slow, or weak individuals among them. Even a minor injury may be enough to tip the scales in the wolves' favor, so they study the herd carefully.

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Film Info

Video Clips

Clips & Trailers:

Wolves: Behind the Scenes Real 300 K

Wolves: Koani Real 300 K

Wolves: Proper Role Real 300 K

Wolves: Trailer Real 300 K

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A National Wildlife Federation Presentation in collaboration with Primesco Communications. Producer: Goulam Amarsy. Associate Producer: Diane Roberts. Director: David Douglas. Distributed by National Wildlife Federation and Primesco Communications. Japanese Distributor: Cinema Japan Co., Ltd. Executive Producer: Christopher Palmer. Narrator: Robbie Robertson. Composer: Michael Cusson.


Outside Reviews:

"Wolves (IMAX)" By Cassandra Nunn,

"Wolves could use more bite" By Tyler McCleod, Calgary Sun

"Wolves" By Aaron Beierle,

"Call of the mild" By Shelly Decker, Edmonton Sun

"Wolves" By Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle

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