Emmy award winning filmmaker, Jim Dutcher, along with his wife, Jamie, has spent over 6 years living with wolves in the Idaho wilderness, during which they actually earned the trust of the packs of wolves that lived there. The Dutchers then founded a non-profit called ‘ Living With Wolves ‘ in 2006, that seeks to educate America and the world about how wolves are not simply vicious predators but highly intelligent creatures that are capable of expressing complex emotions as well.

“Rarely did two wolves pass each other without playfully rubbing shoulders together or exchanging a brief lick. so often we would see two wolves relaxing together, Curled up beside each other.” The Dutchers also recount wolf behavior rarely documented: grief at the death of a pack mate; excitement over the birth of pups; and the shared role of raising young pack members. However, wolves are still largely demonized as ruthless killers, which has made reestablishing themselves in the American west nearly impossible.

Here are some images of the Dutchers and the pack of wolves they lived with.

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For those who’re interested, they also made a documentary about living with wolves, which you can watch here .

h/t Higher Perspectives