The Hidden Life of Wolves

Photo: Three Wolves
Three Wolves Howling

Photograph by Jim & Jamie Dutcher

Photo: Two pups playing

Two wolf pups playing

Photograph by Jim & Jamie Dutcher

For many people, wolves capture hearts and minds as inspiring symbols of all things wild. For others, their mere existence triggers irrational fear and hatred.

Once, wolves lived throughout most of North America. But over half a century ago, they were deliberately exterminated from nearly all their former range. In the 1990s, protected by the Endangered Species Act, they were reintroduced to Central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park, and now play a keystone role in reestablishing a complete ecosystem. Despite this success, the revival of old misinformation led to the removal of wolves from endangered species protection. Hunting, underway in many areas, has led to the breakup of packs and to unintended consequences.

Intensely social creatures, wolves share the DNA of our family dogs, and the qualities that led to protecting elephants, whales and gorillas. Capable of emotion and communication, they care for each other as individuals, each with its own personality. The Dutchers, Emmy award-winning filmmakers, lived with wolves at the edge of wilderness, documenting their behavior. Their story and extraordinary photographs bring understanding to the future of wolves.

This exhibit is a companion to the book The Hidden Life of Wolves

21 (29×44) photographs, captions, 12 (44×29) interpretive panels

300 running square feet

minimum of 3 months

Rental Fee:
For more information or to book a traveling exhibit contact ngmuseumtravexh@ngs.org; please include name, company, and contact information.

Speaker opportunities available


Detroit Zoo
Detroit, MI
June 1, 2016 – January 31, 2017

  • Picture of A Whalrus flicks its huge tusks
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