While wolves and humans have been intertwined with each other throughout history, the skulking carnivores are still mysterious. In fact, finding out exactly what they are up to when they’re out of sight has been, and continues to be, a difficult challenge. Now, however, in a breakthrough-awooooo, researchers have captured collar camera footage from a wild wolf. And the glimpse into the secret life of Canis Lupis is indeed as deadly as you’d expect.
The Voyageurs Wolf Project captured the novel collar camera footage above, which comes via Digg. Voyageurs, a University of Minnesota research effort, has a single, succinct goal: find out what wolves are up to during the summer. Voyageurs notes that it’s important to shed light on this dark area of their lives. And that figuring out the answer to this question could fill in a huge gap in wolf ecology knowledge.
In the video, Voyageurs researchers loose “V089,” a lone wolf, into the forests along Minnesota’s Ash River. Around V089’s neck is a GoPro-like camera that captures the world from his point of view. Or at least the point of view of his scruffy chin.
Based on the amount of time this wolf spent in this spot (>1 week!), it is clear this wolf killed more than 3 fish. However, the collar only took videos for 30 seconds at the beginning of every hour of daylight meaning we only got 7 minutes of video footage each day. (3/6)— Voyageurs Wolf Project (@VoyaWolfProject) April 14, 2021
While project researchers have only been able to capture short clips so far, even this two-minute-long compilation is enlightening. The clip, spliced together from daylight footage from several different days, shows V089 doing a lot of: sniffing, bone chewing, and hunting. In that order.
Voyageurs Wolf Project
In fact, V089 murders prey three times: all three times snatching fish from the river. And while each fishy kill is a bloody affair, most of this lone killer’s life seems tranquil. V089, for example, seems to love staring at the sky, or just chillin’ out and licking his paws. Which is so cute it makes us want wolves as pets. (It works for characters in Game of Thrones, don’t destroy our dreams!)
Feature image: Voyageurs Wolf Project