The Kootenay Wolves

Five Years Following a Wild Wolf Pack

By (author): John E. Marriott
ISBN 9781771604949
Hardcover | Publication Date: May 17, 2022
Book Dimensions: 11 in. x 8.5 in.
176 Pages

About the Book

A spectacularly illustrated photography book full of behavioural observations and wolf tales that will engage those interested in the state of wild wolves in North America.

On August 24, 2013, professional wildlife photographer John E. Marriott received a phone call that would dramatically alter the course of his career for the next half decade. A friend of his had witnessed gray wolves eating a moose carcass on the side of a highway at dawn that day in Canada’s Kootenay National Park. By the time Marriott arrived hours later, the moose was gone, hauled away by Parks Canada staff, but a lone wolf remained. Marriott’s first magical encounter with that member of one of the Rocky Mountain national parks’ most secretive wolf families spawned an incredible five-year project by the photographer to learn more about these wolves.

The Kootenay Wolves chronicles Marriott’s tenacious efforts hiking, snowshoeing, and hiding silently in camouflage for hundreds of days to document these wary wolves and their tenuous hold in a home range rife with danger, including tourist traffic, transport trucks, trophy hunters, and trappers. Marriott not only watched this family thrive against all odds but also saw and photographed some truly astonishing behaviours rarely documented in the wild before.

Join John Marriott for a visually exhilarating journey into the daily lives of the Kootenay wolves as he introduces you to Hawkeye, Whitey, Stranger, and the truly extraordinary wolf he simply called Mom.

About the Author(s)

John E. Marriott is one of Canada’s premier professional wildlife and nature photographers, with a career spanning two decades and images published worldwide in National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Canadian Geographic, Maclean’s, and Reader’s Digest. He is also the wildlife photography columnist for Outdoor Photography Canada magazine. His books with RMB include The Pipestone Wolves: The Rise and Fall of a Wolf Family (with Günther Bloch), What Bears Teach Us (with Sarah Elmeligi), and The Kootenay Wolves: Five Years Following a Wild Wolf Pack. John has also produced four coffee-table books, including: Banff & Lake Louise: Images of Banff National Park, Wildlife of the Canadian Rockies: A Glimpse at Life on the Wild Side, The Canadian Rockies: Banff, Jasper & Beyond, and Tall Tales, Long Lenses: My Adventures in Photography. John prides himself on being a conservation photographer known for capturing wilderness scenes and wild, free-roaming animals in their natural habitats. He currently lives in Canmore, Alberta, with his wife, Jennifer.


The Kootenay Wolves is a rollicking adventure from one of Canada’s best wildlife photographers and a thoughtful and poignant reflection on the tenuous existence of wolves in Canada’s Rocky Mountain national parks. Above all, it is a story of love both for and among wolves.” —Jeff Gailus, author of Little Black Lies and The Grizzly Manifesto; winner of numerous magazine awards for environmental journalism

The Kootenay Wolves is just what is needed to help wolves everywhere survive in an increasingly human-dominated world. John Marriott’s heartfelt dedication to these amazing beings shines through on every page – through detailed, long-term observation of known individuals, beautiful prose, and stunning photographs – in which he captures just who wolves truly are. I hope this superb book enjoys a broad, global audience, because wolves are the more visible ‘canaries in the coalmine’ who can attract a good deal of attention to what is happening to them and to numerous other non-humans in the Anthropocene, often called ‘the age of humanity’ but in reality the narrow-minded, anthropocentric ‘rage of inhumanity.’ Kudos to John for speaking from his heart on behalf of wolves and other non-humans. I’m sure the animals are thanking you!” —Marc Bekoff, PhD, author of Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence and The Animals’ Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age (with Jessica Pierce)

The Kootenay Wolves gives us a glimpse into John Marriott’s relentless commitment to telling the story of one of the most majestic, elusive and imperilled species out there. Through a stunning collection of photographs that are sure to stir up emotion and bewilderment, John enables the reader to develop an understanding of the adversity faced by the Kootenay wolves and a deep appreciation for their resilience. Once again Marriott harnesses his passion for conservation and his artistic talents to provide a voice for the wilderness.” —Paul Zizka, author of Spirits in the Sky, Aloft, The Canadian Rockies: Rediscovered and numerous other photo collections

“John Marriott has done the nearly impossible in this book: with beautiful, impactful images and heartfelt words he gives us details of the story of one family of wild wolves. Individual wolves are notoriously difficult to even see, let alone observe over a long period of time. With great determination and skill as both photographer and wilderness navigator, John has given the reader a rare opportunity to get to know individual wolves. His words paint a vivid picture of their habitat and the life of the family, including births and deaths.” –Cheryl Alexander, author of Takaya: Lone Wolf; Takaya’s Journey; and Good Morning, Takaya