The wolves of Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge are featured in the September/October issue of Canadian Geographic in the story Opoyastin wolves of the big wind ~ At a fly-in wilderness lodge on Hudson Bay, guests immerse themselves in a rarely studied wolf pack.
This beautifully written piece is by Alicia-Rae Light, with photos by longtime Churchill Wild guests Christoph and Fabienne Jansen of ArcticWild.net, all of whom were on the Cloud Wolves of the Kaska Coast safari at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. We’ve included a short excerpt below. Enjoy!
And a big thank you to everyone involved in creating this exceptional piece of work!
Opoyastin wolves of the big wind ~ Excerpt
by Alicia-Rae Light
“Hello beautiful,” a guest whispers as a wolf coyly approaches. A pale, rose-gold light illuminates her raised hackles in the rising sun. A nearly full moon still hangs in the sky. Careful with each step — her paws are like snowshoes on the crusty layer atop deep snow. The hair on the back of my neck raises, too. She doesn’t seem afraid, but she stays vigilant. Humans are not all that common in this remote landscape in northern Manitoba. She digs her snout in the snow in search of mice and looks up again, her nose dusted in white. She stares each of us in the eye, then saunters away. We are decidedly uninteresting, for now.
“I’ve watched wolves for a long time,” says Albert Saunders, better known as Butch, an Elder of the York Factory First Nation and a longtime guide at Nanuk, a fly-in wilderness lodge operated by Churchill Wild on the southwestern coast of Hudson Bay. Though many people are terrified of wolves, he explains, they won’t generally bother you. “Just like any other animal that I’ve been told about by the Elders, you got to have respect,” he says. Wolves that live near communities are scared because they have been harassed, says Saunders, but here on the coast they rarely see people and are curious. Read more…