Tonya Littlewolf has rescued wolves all her life. At a sanctuary in the empty California desert, she looks after 14 majestic wolves which have been rescued from breeders. Yet, as she cares for the creatures, even feeding them mouth-to-mouth, Tonya questions whether these wolves would be better off in the wild. WOLF MOUNTAIN is a beautiful portrait of Tonya that explores her spiritual connection with the serene and misunderstood animals.
Winner of Nat Geo WILD's Wild to Inspire competition.
Directed and Produced by:
Dan Duran, Brendan Nahmias, Sam Price-Waldman
Cinematography and Editing by:
Dan Duran and Sam Price-Waldman
In 1987, red wolves were released back into the wild in northeastern North Carolina at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The endangered red wolves had been pulled out of the wild and entered into a captive breeding program in an attempt to save the species. So far the program has been a success with about 130 red wolves in northeastern North Carolina. These wolves, who are scared of and avoid humans, have a long way to go before they are fully restored and will need to be managed for some time to make sure they do not become extinct. This short film provides some insight into the captive breeding program to restore the red wolf population, species diversity and genetic diversity within the red wolf population through the voices of Kim Wheeler, executive director of the Red Wolf Coalition, and Will Waddell, red wolf Species Survival Plan coordinator from Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.
Photography, filming, audio, production and editing by Jeffrey Mittelstadt
Special Thanks to:
the United States Fish & Wildlife Service team:
and the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science team: