Caroline Büttner

January - May 2015
University Freie Universität Berlin
Project at the WSC Greeting behavior in wolves and dogs
With us since January 2015
Favourite wolf book Never Cry Wolf
Favourite animal at the WSC Chitto, Geronimo, Aragorn, Hiari
Favourite howling Nanuk, Geronimo
Favourite wolf film Never Cry Wolf

„Why wolves? “ Many people have asked me this question, yet I was never able to really give an answer. Due to the many wolf projects I took part in I should have found out long ago why I feel so drawn to these predators. Shouldn´t hand raising wolf pups in Germany, a thesis for the high-school diploma and an internship at a Russian wolf project have established clarity about it?

Is it the spiritual aura of these animals, which are often shrouded in myths? Or is it a classic return to the wild from a childhood characterized by dogs? It might be that I feel connected to them, because I think that their way of life, their social behavior and their characters are admirable? Maybe wolves are the symbol of a world in which I feel at home more than in any other?  A world sheltered by the roof of the forest, a world covered by snowy mountains – a world of the north.

No doubt I am influenced by the dreamful image “brother wolf”, but without question I also learned to approach these animals from a rational and scientific point of view. But shouldn’t a scientist also be a bit of a dreamer? Right now it´s difficult to be certain whether my scientific curiosity or the mythological fantasy drives me more. It might be a good combination of both.

So, of course I was drawn to these charismatic animals again and ended up with a wolf project for my bachelor thesis. I stayed at the WSC for half a year since beginning of 2015. My reason was to continue with my wolf influenced life and to get a bit closer to the answer of the question raised.

With my bachelor thesis about the greeting behavior I reinforced my scientific enthusiasm, with my prosaic blog diary I could renew my mythical dedication and with the wonderful animals of the WSC as models, my camera and some hours of perfect light I was able to rediscover my passion for photography.

“But why wolves?” – Honestly, I still have no answer and I doubt, that I ever will find one. But that´s fine, because if I had an answer might I not lose a piece of this mysterious fascination?