VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
What would you do to be a National Geographic photographer? Would you trudge across a snowy volcano with a hundred pounds of gear thrown over your shoulder? Would you trek by yourself across a giant river oft visited by grizzly bears? Would you stake out in the dark wilderness with the howls of wolves getting closer and closer? Conservation photographer Ronan Donovan did all that and more for a year and a half to photograph Yellowstone National Park and the wolves that call it home.
Ever since I came face-to-face with a pack of wolves in rural Indiana, they’ve had a special place in my heart. At one wolf sanctuary, I was allowed up-close access. For the first time, I was able to feel their coarse fur and look into their deep, inquisitive eyes. These were not dogs. There was no immediate trust … it had to be earned.
“Faster!” Zhylkybai Aga said. The driver increased the truck’s speed to 25 m.p.h. Zhylkybai leaned out the window and whooped at his dog, named Akbakai, who loped alongside the vehicle. The lanky dog was hardly exerting himself. My first impression of Tazy, a Kazakh dog breed, was that it looked like a bag of bones. But now, in…