Zoologist Jason Badridze decided that he wanted to study wild wolves in Georgia’s Borjomi Nature Reserve in the mid-seventies, at the age of thirty. For two years, he was not just an observer but also became a close confidant to these animals: he slept with two adult wolves and their cubs under the night sky, he helped them to hunt, and learned from their habits. In turn, the wolf pack shared their kill, fed him when he was sick or injured, and protected him from bears.
Only a few wolf biologists have gotten this close to these animals, but Badridze has admired them since the age of four, when he first heard their howling. He always had a feeling that wolves are not the evil creatures depicted by Slavic folklore and Soviet children’s books.
In a black and white short movie dedicated to Badridze, the Georgian wolf expert tells Elizaveta Tezneva about the extraordinary moment when he first came face-to-face with his wolf pack: prior to this meeting, he went to great lengths to get the wolves accustomed to his scent—to his children’s diapers, to be more accurate. Once he gained their trust, he stayed by their side, returning to his family in Tbilisi every three to four months.