“Elderly or sick wolves, too, are cared for by the pack. Old wolves are invaluable. A pack with just one elderly member has a 150 per cent better chance of winning in battles because of their experience – they will avoid a conflict they don’t think they can win [File photo]”
by Elli H. Radinger for The Mail on Sunday
“The silver stripes of the wolf’s coat gleamed in the afternoon sunlight. His black nose inhaled my scent deeply, his ears pointing alertly forward.
“We were inches apart now, and from the corner of my eye I could see the other members of his pack waiting. Every fibre of my being was focused on surviving the next few seconds.
“The wolf’s powerful hindquarters lowered slightly as he prepared to jump. He flew towards me; his paws, the size of side plates, landed on my shoulders, his imposing fangs only a centimetre from my face. The world stopped.
“Then he licked my face with his rough tongue. This was my first wolf kiss – the equivalent of a human handshake – and it was a fearsome introduction to these extraordinary animals.”