Sheep in Wolves Clothing?

by Mat November. 12, 2008 9579 views

A few shots from Wolf Haven International, in Tenino, WA.

This is a rehabilitation center, as well as permanent sanctuary for injured wolves and one of only a handful of locations where one can see Red Wolves, Mexican Gray Wolves, etc. They are part of a national breeding and reintroduction program. A really, Really neat place!

For anyone interested, especially those photobloggers here in western WA, Wolf Haven offers a 3 hour Photography Tour with the resident Professional Photographer (and it includes a continental breakfast!) Cost is $75 and proceeds benefit Wolf Haven International, as well as their photographer. They have an exclusive agreement with their photographer that only she is able to sell images of their wolves. I actually think that's a fantastic idea and a great way to protect the work of a photographer that's been a part of their team since 1998.

The photography tours require a minimum of 6 people, and a maximum of 10 people for the tour, and they close the facility to all other guests.

These images were taken while we toured the facility on their standard 1 hour long tour. You have to shoot through chain link fences, so lenses that have large apertures are helpful to mitigate the effects of the chain link. All of these shots are at ISO 800, with a 70-200mm 2.8 lens. A 300mm 2.8 (or longer!) would be IDEAL and should render the chain link almost non existent. I could have heavily cropped these, but since I HATE cropping …

Should anyone be interested, please let me know. I'd LOVE to spend a few hours shooting these beautiful animals, and even though I wouldn't be able to do anything with the images commercially, spending time with a ‘professional’ photographer, who has been shooting these wolves for 10+ years, should provide a good opportunity for learning and growth.

More information can be found at: []

Who's in?!


Red Wolf: This guy was an absolutely stunning animal! He was roaming around his enclosure, and I was very lucky to get this shot. He just stopped in this one area long enough to snap this shot. I think the Red Wolves were my favorite of the wolves I saw that day. Simply magnificent creatures.

Grey Wolf: The only way this would have been better is if its teeth were bared! I love this shot, and the look in the eyes of this fantastic animal is awesome. Too bad you can't see this shot full screen. Its gorgeous.

This Grey Wolf was ‘meat drunk’ according to the tour guide. Every couple of weeks, they feed these wolves like 20lbs of meat in a single feeding. It simulates life in the wild. After gorging themselves, they get so lethargic, they just lie there doing nothing! sounds like me after Thanksgiving! =)

Mexican Grey Wolf: Another gorgeous animal! You can see the effects of the chain link fencing above and below this wolf. Its not that noticeable, but its there. A longer lens would have helped mitigate this effect even further.

  Be the first to like this post
Join the conversation
There are 28 comments, add yours!
Christine 7 years, 6 months ago

What staring eyes on the first picture ! I bet you feel like a prey !
Beautiful animals

7 years, 6 months ago Edited
Chris 7 years, 10 months ago

Superb Mat! Love these shots...

7 years, 10 months ago Edited
David Cardona 8 years, 1 month ago

Wonderful post! I added first one into my favorites. Excellent shots. Thanks a lot for sharing!

8 years, 1 month ago Edited
Amanda 8 years, 2 months ago


8 years, 2 months ago Edited
Patty 8 years, 3 months ago

Simply magnificent!!

8 years, 3 months ago Edited
Jon Laysell 8 years, 5 months ago

Fantastic shots, especially the first one it look like a staring competition - only your camera blinked and you've captured the wolf's image for ever.

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Crisu 8 years, 6 months ago

great set

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
David Cardona 8 years, 6 months ago

Lovely post and excellent shots! It´s not so easy to take them as you did it. Well done work!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Monika 8 years, 6 months ago

They are fascinating... would love to join... will you pay my flight ticket? :-)))

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jack 8 years, 6 months ago

Wow, the first is superb!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jannie 8 years, 6 months ago

Wow! These are awesome! The first shot is absolutely stunning, the entire set is incredible. Sounds like an organization well worth supporting. I'd be there in a heartbeat if I lived closer. Great post Matt!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Lotofoto 8 years, 6 months ago

These are great shots Mat.
I can't believe they're at ISO 800!
I just got a new (to me) Canon 40D and I'm not thrilled with the high ISO noise. Sigh...

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Mary 8 years, 6 months ago

Beautiful photos--the eyes of #2 were really stirring for me. What a great opportunity to take photos and benefit a great program. Nicely done, Mat!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Marsha 8 years, 6 months ago

These are stunning - through your photos I have really learned to appreciate animals. Thanks so much for sharing. I would be interested in a photo trek,, but not wolves even behind the fence my photos would be a blur.
I think you and Heidi should come to the midwest and take us on a tour.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Betsy Murphy 8 years, 6 months ago

WOW, awesome!
Should be in National Geographic

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Sherij 8 years, 6 months ago

WOW fantastic shots Mat. Looks like they tipped ( V marked ears)the ears in # 4 they do that to feral cats that have been captured once so they know not to catch them again. What a treat for you and for us to see these wonderful creatures WOW!!

HIGH 5 to you for an AWESOME Wolf post!

Yes Mat I am still shooting with my 400mm fixed lens I use it for every wild life shot. Shorter lens 300mm and smaller is for landscapes.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Tonya 8 years, 6 months ago

Until you pointed it out, I did not notice the fence! Wow-you are just too good! My fav is #2 with #1 a close second.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Allison 8 years, 6 months ago

Mat! These are really really cool! I love the faces on these animals!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Cathrine 8 years, 6 months ago

They certainly are beautiful animals.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jan 8 years, 6 months ago

ok i am!! count me in, uhh that is $75 including the flight??

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Tim S. 8 years, 6 months ago

Wow absolutely great photos, how wonderful the wolves are.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Peregol 8 years, 6 months ago

Fantastic post!!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Lynda 8 years, 6 months ago

Great shots of magnificent creatures. I went to a similar place in Canada a few years ago.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Pete 8 years, 6 months ago

love your wolves

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Mindy 8 years, 6 months ago

Great shots!!! I shot a picture of a red wolf in Cades Cove, tn.!!!
Didn't turn out nearly as good as yours!!!! Great job!!!!!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Eric J H Joyce 8 years, 6 months ago

Great info and shots.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Tamara Harden 8 years, 6 months ago

Meat drunk, huh? Hey, that's not far from Offut Lake resort, where we stayed this summer.

8 years, 6 months ago Edited
Lissa 8 years, 6 months ago

These are amazing, Mat. If I lived in the area, I'd definitely be in.

That first shot is absolute perfection. Into my faves it goes!

8 years, 6 months ago Edited