Few creatures are more beautiful and more maligned than the wolf. From the myths of werewolves, and the 'Big Bad Wolf' of fairytales, it seems part of our collective unconscious to fear them. With what we know of the hardships our ancestors lived through, perhaps this is ingrained in our subconscious memory. Yet they are fascinating creatures; our domestic dogs, remember, are almost entirely still wolf according to their DNA, and fewer animals than they have such a close bond with man.
At one time, the Gray Wolf was the most widespread mammal in the world, but is now limited to Eastern Europe, Russia, North America and parts of Asia. The live in nuclear families with a strict hierarchy, and are usually apex predators.
For anyone wanting to get closer to wolves, the UK Wolf Conservation Trust arrange for groups of visitors to walk with the wolves they keep on their land. In the meantime, over to them: