Sonntag, 27. Juli 2014

The Camera and the Wolf

July I was in Vienna at the conference of the "International Society for Anthrozoology" (ISAZ). I presented - together with Daniela Pörtl - our model of "Active social Domestication from the Wolf to the Dog". We got the opportunity to participate in an excursion to the Clever Dog Lab and Wolf Science Center (WSC) in Ernstbrunn near Vienna, guided by the founders of the Wolf Science Center Kurt Kotschral, Friederike Range and Zsófia Virányi. Many thanks to them for this fascinating guided tour!
Wolf Science Center - comparative research on dogs and wolves

We gained insight into the keeping of the dogs and the wolves. Dogs as wolves are reared identically and they are living  in separate packs with as less human contact as possible. The WSC sees itself as the world's only facility that would allow a scientific comparison between dogs and wolves. One may argue about this approach, but this visit in the WSC was already highly interesting and revealing.
Keeping of dogs as pack without being accompanied by man is problematic.

A broken wrist strap...

At a wolf enclosure, which was inaccessible to the public, I tried to take some good photos. Unfortunally I overlooked an electric wire.
The last photo before the crash.
You pay attention to the electric wire right - top was another one...
(Photo Christoph Jung) 
Reflexively I pulled back my hand. The wrist strap ripped, the camera dropped down. Just a brief moment and another wolf grabbed the camera and disappeared quickly and silently in the grass. There you could see him chewing on my camera.
The wolf with my Sony RX1.
(Photo Daniela Pörtl)
Nobody gave the camera another chance. But Zsófia Virányi organized help immediately. An employee came after a few minutes (which seemed for me like an eternity). The three wolves ran in anticipation of food immediately to the lock.

...big pleasure for the wolf.

Now Zsófia could get the camera. It worked (as seen later without any limitations)! Just a little bit dirty. The thumb grib on the back was missing. Nothing else. Just a small dental impression on top, in the middle of the flash cover, is still visible. The wolf gave me his personal signature. Gorgeous!
The wrist strap was not very robust.
Saved from the muzzle of the wolf:
A bit dirty - with the wolf's signature - the point on the left.
Zsófia Virányi with one of the three wolves after she had taken the camera. Again many thanks to Zsófia!
(Photo Daniela Pörtl)
  • The sensitivity of the wolf who was chewing but not damaging the camera. He could have destroid it easily. 
  • The quality of the camera. But it was a Sony RX1-R, not a low budget one. 
  • Zsófia Virányi's wonderful handling of the wolves. The group was grateful for the beautiful photos which could be taken! 

What (still working) camera can claim already to have been in the muzzle of a wolf?

Dog "Zander" smelling the wolf.

by Christoph Jung

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