Kingdom of the White Wolf
National Geographic explorer and photographer Ronan Donovan travels to Ellesmere Island in the High Arctic, to a landscape uninhabited by humans, in pursuit of the legendary white wolf. The wolves have never been hunted and so they are fearless and free, offering a chance to learn more about this mysterious social predator—and get closer to them—than ever before. But while the wolves aren’t afraid of humans, this doesn’t make Ronan’s journey easy. Dropped into the heart of a vast, frigid wilderness where wolves may range over hundreds of square miles, he must first find a pack just as the season’s pups are born—and then see whether the family will accept him. He searches the tundra, finding a string of strangely empty wolf dens, before he finally discovers a small family caring for a litter of newborn pups. But these wolves are wary, and refuse to let Ronan draw near. Frustrated and weary, Ronan must hurry to find another pack before the short Arctic summer vanishes into winter darkness. He sets off to a new location hoping for a close encounter and soon has more than he’s bargained for when a group of wolves surrounds him, bold and unafraid, matching his curiosity with their own. The pack is large and confident—6 adults and 4 pups—and to his surprise and joy they quickly accept Ronan into their midst. He travels with them through summer, watching as they hunt musk oxen, endure a devastating loss, and struggle to survive in one of the harshest environments on the planet.