At sixteen or so, this one was among the oldest of the wolves at the Lakota Preserve and had been ousted from his position as Alpha in another pack. The fight very nearly killed him, or would have, had it not been for his caretakers who’d had his throat sewn back together and his blinded eye tended to. He was relocated to a different pen with another, gentler, pack where he’s been accepted in his new submissive role.
Despite his submissiveness with the other members of the pack, he was quite confident and unaffraid with people, yet tame enough to be hand fed biscuits through the fence.
Diminished though they may be by captivity and I believe they must be, this is the wolf – the symbol of wildness for many. In them we see something unrestrained and noble, something ancient and fear-inducing. Much of that mystery is reduced, I think, by the high chain link separating us, but some is still there in the aloofness they carry with them, even as they submit themselves to our wide eyes.