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Authored by a renowned naturalist and wolf researcher, The Rise of Wolf 8 reads like a gripping hero's journey, interweaving themes of tragedy, revenge, love, and heartbreak to craft a powerful portrait of an exceptional alpha wolf, whose dramatic life will forever transform our understanding of this iconic yet persecuted species.
The Rise of Wolf 8 follows the incredible journey of one of the first wolves to inhabit Yellowstone in more than 60 years. In 1928, park rangers killed the last Yellowstone wolf, and in 1995, they sought to bring the species back. Small and slight, Wolf 8 struggles at first, but later thrives, as he surprisingly steps into the role of alpha male for a female whose mate was shot. Wolf 8 excels at hunting, protecting his family, and even defending against the rival pack that killed his father. But soon his valor is tested in a tragic face-off against his own son, resulting in a dramatic twist ending. Alternately heart-wrenching and uplifting, and uniquely cinematic, The Rise of Wolf 8 is the mark of an original bold new trilogy.
Rick McIntyre has worked in national parks for more than fifty years and has recorded more sightings of wild wolves than any other person. For fifteen years, he rose before dawn every day to observe the Yellowstone wolves. Now retired, he has spoken about the Yellowstone Wolves with news outlets such as 60 Minutes and NPR’s Snap Judgement, and is profiled extensively in American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee.
In addition to his work as an actor, director and producer, Robert Redford has been a passionate art and environmental activist since the early 1970’s. He has been an advocate for climate change awareness, clean energy and habitat protection for over 40 years.
"[McIntyre's] greatest strength is the quiet respect and wonder with which he regards his subjects, a quality clearly informed by decades of careful watching."
– Publishers Weekly
"Yellowstone's resident wolf guru Rick McIntyre has been many things to many people: an expert tracker for the park's biologists, an indefatigable roadside interpreter for visitors, and an invaluable consultant to countless chronicles of the park's wolves – including my own. But he is first and foremost a storyteller whose encyclopedic knowledge of Yellowstone's wolf reintroduction project – now in its 25th year – is unparalleled."
– Nate Blakeslee, New York Times bestselling author of American Wolf
"[McIntyre] spins the best stories about wolves that anyone will ever tell. No one could match it."
– Douglas W. Smith, senior wildlife biologist and project leader for the Yellowstone Gray Wolf Restoration Project
"The Rise of Wolf 8 is a saga of triumph and tragedy, tribal warfare, love and loss, sagacity and survival, revealing new insights into the complexity of lupine existence. You will be richly rewarded by reading each detail patiently – they all lead to a gripping climax to an altogether stunning story."
– Norm Bishop, director of the Wolf Recovery Foundation and co-author of Yellowstone's Northern Range: Complexity and Change in a Wildland Ecosystem
"Rick McIntyre is a fabulous researcher. He dedicated his life to documenting the histories of generations of wolves in Yellowstone. I envy the hours he spent in the field talking to people about wolves and tracking the wolves movements in the most beautiful country in the world. I'm glad he is now sharing his research with the world."
– Scott Frazier, Crow – Santee, Director of Project Indigenous
"This book is your invitation and opportunity to spend years inside Yellowstone National Park alongside the man who has spent more time watching wolves than anyone in the history of the world. As your patient teacher, he will show you that wolves are all individuals, and that the lives they lead are truly epic."
– Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel
"No one I know of has watched wild wolves longer or more closely than Rick McIntyre. I also have met few who are as good at weaving interesting stories from those unique observations. He witnessed multi-generational sagas of victory, defeat, joy, and survival of Shakespearean proportions among the most famous wolf packs on earth."
– Ed Bangs, former US Fish & Wildlife Service Wolf Recovery Coordinator; led the reintroduction of Yellowstone wolves
"For many years I've thought that Rick McIntyre is the 'go-to-guy' for all things wolf, and his latest book, The Rise of Wolf 8, amply confirms my belief. A must read – to which I'll return many times – for anyone interested in wolves and other nature. Wolves and humans are lucky to have Rick McIntyre."
– Marc Bekoff, PhD, author of Rewilding Our Hearts and Canine Confidential
"To follow the ever-changing destinies of the Yellowstone wolves is to witness a real-life drama, complete with acts of bravery, tragedy, sacrifice, and heroism. Rick McIntyre has monitored the park's wolves since reintroduction. He once said, 'Certain wolves that I have come to know, they are better at being wolves than I have been at being a person.'"
– Jim and Jamie Dutcher, founders of Living with Wolves
"McIntyre has here written the captivating story of individual wolves and their personalities in their natural setting of competing with other packs, starting with those reintroduced into Yellowstone Park. Their stories will become a classic in animal behavior, with impacts reaching into ecology, conservation biology, and comparisons to human social evolution. All is presented with skill and verve to be accessible to a wide audience."
– Bernd Heinrich, PhD, University of Vermont, author of Mind of the Raven
"By absorbing himself in Yellowstone National Park and making its wolves central in his life, Rick McIntyre uncovered a rich panoply of personality differences and social complexity in their daily lives and activities. The result is to recast this much-maligned species in a deeply sympathetic, compassionate, and mesmerizing way."
– John B. Theberge, PhD, wolf biologist and author of Wolf Country
"Rick's book is a testament to the irreplaceable value of direct and long term observation of wild animals in their habitat. No trick of modern technology will ever be able to catch the subtleties of the messages sent by just a glance or the sophisticated mechanisms of leadership in a wolf pack. This book will tell you all this and much more: its contribution to wolf biology is immense, for scientists as well as for wolf lovers."
– Luigi Boitani, Honorary Professor, Department of Biology and Biotechnologies, University of Rome, Italy
"Mother Nature is never pressed for time; she can be slow to reveal her secrets. Patience, determination, and endless curiosity are required to gain understanding of her ways. Those characteristics were Rick McIntyre's stock in trade as he achieved previously unimagined insight into the lives of Yellowstone's wolves. He is a naturalist of the finest kind. The Rise of Wolf 8 is a cardinal contribution to our understanding of the wonders of the wild world around us still."
– Mike Phillips, Montana state senator, executive director, Turner Endangered Species Fund, and former project leader of Yellowstone wolf and red wolf restoration programs
"There are numerous endlessly compelling tales of Yellowstone's first twenty-five years' experience in wolf restoration. Fortunately, Rick McIntyre has risen to the challenge of explaining what happened using the actual wolf alphas as the primary teachers. It's a brilliant concept and Rick is uniquely qualified to make it work."
– John Varley, former director of the Yellowstone Center for Resources at Yellowstone National Park
"My brother and I were asked by Yellowstone National Park to perform Native Welcoming and Adoption Ceremonies for the wolves during both reintroduction phases, in 1995 and 1996. Around this time, we became acquainted with Rick McIntyre. What impressed us most is he knows wolves in much the way we do. He knows their birthdates and places, family histories, personalities, preferences, strengths, and weaknesses. In other words, he KNOWS them as individuals. We are ever-grateful for Rick's knowledge of, investment in, and love for our extended four-legged family."
– John Potter, Anishinabe, wildlife artist
"In The Rise of Wolf 8, Rick McIntyre presents the personal lives of wild wolves in a riveting narrative without equal in detail or insight. 'They're just like people' will be a common response, but then wolves are something more than that as well. This book is a personalized account of Rick's life watching wolves and trying to understand why they do the things they do. Rick had no larger agenda, but this task took decades of devotion and consumed most of his life. We are so fortunate that we can, through this book, share the ride. There is always something more to learn, Rick obviously thought, and the wonder he shares is contagious."
– Rolf Peterson, PhD, Michigan Technological University, author of The Wolves of Isle Royale
"Yellowstone Park naturalist Rick McIntyre long ago broke the world record for having watched wolves for the longest time. Now, this book, the first of several, begins to tell us about all the fascinating details he faithfully and meticulously recorded."
– L. David Mech, PhD, University of Minnesota, founder of the International Wolf Center
"Rick McIntyre knows more about Yellowstone's wolves than anyone. What is so fascinating about Rick, besides his passion and knowledge of wolves, is his ability to communicate intimate details about their personal and family lives through storytelling. For almost fifty years, I've had the pleasure of hearing him tell these stories and watching the people around me totally enthralled. This book is a must-read and a treasure for anyone who loves the places where wild wolves howl."
– Thomas D. Mangelsen, nature photographer and conservationist