From the world-famous couple who lived alongside a three-generation wolf pack, this book of inspiration, drawn from the wild, will fascinate animal and nature lovers alike.
For six years Jim and Jamie Dutcher lived intimately with a pack of wolves, gaining their trust as no one has before. In The Wisdom of Wolves, the Dutchers reflect on the virtues they observed in wolf society and behaviour. Each chapter exemplifies a principle, such as kindness, teamwork, playfulness, respect, curiosity, and compassion. Their heartfelt stories combine into a thought-provoking meditation on the values shared between the human and the animal world. Occasional photographs bring the wolves and their behaviours into absorbing focus.
For more than 20 years, Jim and Jamie Dutcher have been documenting wolf behaviour. For six years they lived in a camp near Idaho's Sawtooth Wilderness, intimately observing a three-generation wolf pack. Their unprecedented experiences resulted in prime-time documentaries that won three Emmys. They live in Ketchum, Idaho.
"Jim and Jamie Dutcher offer a rare and insightful view into the hidden lives of wolves. Though this species is often misunderstood, these remarkable animals have much to teach us if we will take the time to learn."
– Robert Redford
"There is only one way to really understand animal behaviour, and that is to spend months and months patiently observing and learning not just about them, but from them. As I did with the chimpanzees. And Jim and Jamie Dutcher have done just that, living for years with the wolves of the Sawtooth Pack in a tented camp in the Idaho wild. In this compelling book they share with us the insights gained by hours and hours of study, providing us with a window through which we can learn about the world of a family of wolves. If you ever doubted that wolves have rich emotional lives those doubts will be swept away as you read about the close bonds between the members of this pack, how they care for each other, and how they cooperate. In many ways they are like us: clearly they experience emotions of joy and grief and suffering just as we do. They are so intelligent, so in harmony with the natural world that they have much to teach us. How tragic that the wolf, ancestor of the domestic dogs with whom we share our lives, is so misunderstood. I believe that this book, so compelling in its authenticity, will help you understand why I feel shocked and saddened by the way that wolves are misunderstood and persecuted. And you will, I am sure, want to join the fight to protect them."
– Jane Goodall
"The Dutchers have ended up producing one of the most intimate portraits ever made of the North American gray wolf. Though it has taken years, their study of the Sawtooth pack has proven deeply insightful, with riveting stories and stunning photography. This is a body of work that will stand the test of time."
– Joel Sartore, National Geographic fellow and founder of the Photo Ark
"Wolves are both the most hated and best loved animal in North America. That is partly because we don't know them. We make them a character in our own cartoon – villain or savior. Wolves really are – as this book explains so beautifully – complex, devoted, loyal, and yes sometimes fierce creatures. In them it is easy to see ourselves reflected, because wolves are more like us in their approach to life and family than any other creature. I invite you into this lovely and graceful book, not just because wolves are full of surprises but because by knowing them better we can better understand ourselves."
– Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel
"Beautifully intimate stories of wolves being wolves that might even teach us to be better humans. The Dutchers' love and respect for wolves shines [howls] throughout this book. Touching, intimate portraits of an unfairly maligned species. As watchers of [and listeners to] wolves, the Dutchers don't miss a thing. They do real justice to these glorious canids."
– Jennifer S. Holland, author of the New York Times best-selling Unlikely Friendships series
"With passion and a personal flair, the Dutchers once again roll out an intimate story about wolves. Drawing upon their deep knowledge gained from countless hours spent with the Sawtooth wolf pack, Jim and Jamie relate rarely seen wolf behaviors, even emotions, connecting them to wild wolf packs which helps interpret what is observed in places like Yellowstone and Denali national parks. Written by each of them in alternating chapters, they reveal much too about their story and how their love of wolves and each other came to be."
– Douglas W. Smith PhD, Senior Wildlife Biologist, Yellowstone National Park
"In their wonderful new book, The Wisdom of Wolves, Jim and Jamie Dutcher provide convincing evidence that wolves are our finer selves."
– Mark Derr, author of Dog's Best Friend, A Dog's History of America, and How the Dog Became the Dog