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Wolf Pack Takes on a Polar Bear - Ep. 1 - Wildlife: The Big Freeze

We appreciate your patience. Thank you very much for your patience! You will notice two wolves on the Retired Pack webcam, both are Great Plains subspecies, but have different pelage coloration. Grizzer, gray in color, lives in retirement because of his age. Luna, black in color, is in retirement for staff to conduct some physical and behavioral assessments. The health and safety of our wolves is the most important part of our wolf management plan. Another oddity is that under the island on which the city sits is a network of road tunnels nicknamed the Swiss cheese.

The entrances and exits pop up at surprising locations around the place. After a night at a hotel on the very lovely quayside, we set off on to the water. But maybe of a little more interest to visitors is the large number of humpback and killer whales, or orcas, that follow them. Our trip started with a scenic minute coach journey to Kvaloya which translates, aptly, as Whale Island. Unfortunate, but a promising sign. When we arrived at the small harbour at the top of the island we were suited and booted in survival suits before stepping on to one of the RIBs.

Whale watching and wolves at your window: Wild adventures in Norway's far north | The Independent

Within 15 minutes we got lucky as we spotted a pod of killer whales some distance off. But that was just the start. Before long we struck gold and found ourselves in a stretch of water that became what can only be described as whale soup. Three or four humpbacks and more killer whales than you could shake a stick at. And not glimpses but prolonged views and close encounters. Some so close that I could have reached out and touched their towering dorsal fins.

In the cold Arctic air the light is crisp and clear. The winter sun barely peeks above the horizon and a slow sunrise marries seamlessly with the sunset without it every properly getting bright. There is a perpetual twilight that I love, every hour of the day providing the perfect light for photography.

Exhibit Pack Webcam

The days may be short but they are magical. The next day, we had a two-and-a-half-hour drive south to what would turn out to be the crescendo of our trip. This luxurious cabin is accessed by a covered tunnel through the wolf enclosure. Why, you ask?

International Wolf Center

They are a healthy, happy bunch and are the perfect mix of curious and aloof. A more enchanting creature is hard to find. Their first visit was a few minutes peering in and frolicking outside before they galloped over the hill and off through the trees. You could look out of any of the huge windows at the amazing views for hours and not see a single wolf. Me, Wendy, Lola, Harris and the five wolves. The animals returned to the snowy knoll by the cabin after dark to serenade us with a hauntingly uplifting howling session before we turned in for the night. I opened my eyes at first light to see one of the huge male wolves looking in through the full-length bedroom window.

Not disconcerting, but strangely comforting, though he soon lost interest and trotted off. Later, there was a treat outside the lodge for Wendy and me.

Watch rare footage of Arctic wolf pups on first family outing

The wolf pack has been socialised, meaning that accompanied by Catrine and another colleague we were allowed to leave the lodge to have a closer encounter; for safety reasons only those over 18 and more than 1. Once outside the lodge, Catrine called the pack in, in very much the same way you might call a pet poodle. There are nerves involved, obviously; even playful wolves have a serious presence. They were exited to meet us in the flesh, greeting us with an enthusiastic face lick. The real magic of the experience was that, although you might expect it to be intimidating, it was in fact incredibly intimate.

Other guests have wept with joy after such wolf encounters. I get it. At close quarters, you see a different side. They are intelligent creatures, bound by their relationships. An enduring memory will be one of the wolves approaching a downstairs window of the lodge while we were outside.

I have a rewarding job, I get to see and film things that many others can only dream of. The downside is time away from my family. So to travel to Norway, to see beautiful animals in the company of the most beautiful people in my life, was perfect. Who needs winter sun when you can have winter magic? Clarion Collection Hotel With , Tromso. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Try Independent Premium free for 1 month. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium.

Wildlife & Wolf Photography

Their hunting ranges are extensive, often , square miles, and they will kill and eat virtually any animal they can catch, from voles and lemmings to muskox and caribou. Birds are also occasionally part of the diet. The Arctic wolf is the only subspecies of wolf which is not threatened - their remote home means that they are relatively safe from man's activities, both in terms of hunting and habitat destruction.

International Wolf Center Lots of information - North America is the primary focus, but there is some information from around the world.