D7100 - Canadian Timber Wolf in Parc Omega Wildlife Preserve (captive)

Started Jan 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
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D7100 - Canadian Timber Wolf in Parc Omega Wildlife Preserve (captive)
Jan 7, 2014

Taken in Parc Omega, Montebello, Quebec - (captive wolf). Lens: Nikon 300/F4

Today wolves are very rarely seen in the wild in Canada and almost never up close, whereas once they were quite numerous. The reason for their absence from the landscape is that farmers and ranchers and wolves do not get along - wolves attack livestock and sooner or later end up being shot dead. In past generations and up until very recently there has been a zero tolerance attitude toward wolves and with repeated bounties placed on them they have been hunted into non-existence in all human-occupied parts of the country. Wolf hunting is legal and active in every province and in most places that includes setting out baits to attract them so they can be shot and killed.

And yet, human beings have some kind of deep curiosity and fascination when it comes to wolves. Some naturalists believe this is because of our love affair and partnership with domesticated dogs, which of course come for their wolf ancestors. For years I have had hanging on a wall in my office a framed, large format photographic print of a wolf lying down in a snow fall. I love it - it somehow captures more than just my interest and I find myself strangely attracted to it and wondering what that wolf was thinking about as it calmly lay there looking out.

It was a desire to capture in photographs something of the essence of their personalities through close-ups, and especially their eyes, that moved me to spend a day with the wolves at Parc Omega Wildlife Preserve in Montebello, Quebec, about an hour's drive north of Ottawa. Parc Omega is the oldest and most respected nature preserve within driving distance of Ottawa. It has an excellent reputation for the care and maintenance of all its animals and for creating large, open, clean and safe habitats for them. For example, Parc Omega works closely with Quebec's ministry of Natural Resources who, among many things, regularly provides the park with deer freshly killed on the area roads and highways. This is to ensure that the wolves digestive systems are kept healthy by receiving their normal diet as often as possible. Life expectancy for the average wolf in the wild is about 5 years, whereas life-expectancy in well-kept wildlife preserves is 15-18 years.

Some people believe that it would be a relatively easy thing to go out somewhere and photograph wolves in the wild. This is not a realistic view. They are extremely difficult to find and are so wary of humans that they almost never come close enough for a photograph, let alone a close-up photo. Here is a link to an excellent article by one of Canada's foremost wildlife photographers who underscores the reality of how difficult it is to photograph wolves in the wild and discusses the important role of wildlife preserves when it comes to wolves. http://www.canadiannaturephotographer.com/wolves.html



Nikon D7100
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