the wolf

Its late in the day and I am standing on a deserted stretch of Route 89 filming an abandoned house. Wandering away from the camera, I see a grey wolf limping around the side of the building. I hold my breath. These creatures are so shy of humans that I know he can’t have seen me. Later I look at my footage, and there he is, a shadow behind the grass. And in the next clip, a few minutes later, he limps back. I think he must be wounded and living in the empty house. As I’ve been filming abandoned houses all over the state I often see scat inside them. Perfect shelter from the brutal Montanan winter.

Last week the grey wolf was stripped of its endangered species status in the American West. The move is the culmination of a long dispute that has pitted the wolves’ defenders against hunters who say the wolves were devastating wild game they wanted for themselves.

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