Newly released book chronicles Kootenay wolves
On August 24, 2013, Canmore-based professional wildlife photographer John E. Marriott received a phone call that would dramatically alter the course of his career for the next half decade.
A friend of his had witnessed gray wolves eating a moose carcass on the side of a highway at dawn that day in Kootenay National Park. By the time Marriott arrived hours later, the moose was gone, hauled away by Parks Canada staff, but a lone wolf remained.
Marriott’s first magical encounter with that member of one of the Rocky Mountain national parks’ most secretive wolf families spawned an incredible five-year project by the photographer to learn more about these wolves.
The Kootenay Wolves chronicles Marriott’s tenacious efforts hiking, snowshoeing, and hiding silently in camouflage for hundreds of days to document these wary wolves and their tenuous hold in a home range rife with danger, including tourist traffic, transport trucks, trophy hunters, and trappers. Marriott not only watched this family thrive against all odds but also saw and photographed some truly astonishing behaviours rarely documented in the wild before.
Now available in bookstores and online,The Kootenay Wolves is a spectacularly illustrated photography book full of behavioural observations and wolf tales that will engage those interested in the state of wild wolves in North America.
“The Kootenay Wolves is a rollicking adventure from one of Canada’s best wildlife photographers and a thoughtful and poignant reflection on the tenuous existence of wolves in Canada’s Rocky Mountain national parks. Above all, it is a story of love both for and among wolves,” said Jeff Gailus, author of Little Black Lies and The Grizzly Manifesto and winner of numerous magazine awards for environmental journalism.
“The Kootenay Wolves gives us a glimpse into John Marriott’s relentless commitment to telling the story of one of the most majestic, elusive and imperilled species out there. Through a stunning collection of photographs that are sure to stir up emotion and bewilderment, John enables the reader to develop an understanding of the adversity faced by the Kootenay wolves and a deep appreciation for their resilience.
“Once again Marriott harnesses his passion for conservation and his artistic talents to provide a voice for the wilderness,” noted Paul Zizka, author of Spirits in the Sky, Aloft, The Canadian Rockies: Rediscovered and numerous other photo collections.
Lead image: One of the images in The Kootenay Wolves: Five Years Following a Wild Wolf Pack by John E. Marriott. Photos submitted