Episode available within Canada only.

When a male lone wolf is spotted prowling a small, uninhabited archipelago just off the coast of Victoria, local resident, environmentalist and conservation photographer Cheryl Alexander goes in for a closer look. Thanks to her extraordinary commitment and connection with the wolf, Alexander unearths a compelling seven-year tale of an animal that pushes the boundaries of his world — and ours. Takaya: Lone Wolf recounts the inspirational story of one animal’s resilience, adaptation and survival as he takes on the odds, and reveals that humans can coexist with apex predators that are often perceived as a lethal threat.

Alexander is captivated by Takaya from the moment she first spots him howling at sunset. Amid widespread rumours and theories, she’s determined to find out where he came from, how he got to what’s known as Discovery Island and how he survives in his new marine environment — a place lacking any deer or elk to hunt and a year-round supply of freshwater. Another mystery is why, despite being a highly social pack animal, Takaya appears to have chosen to live a life of quiet isolation.

Watch as Alexander describes why she is so captivated by Takaya.

Retracing Takaya’s steps from the mainland, Alexander discovers photographic evidence of his solo migration through the urban landscape and learns of his epic swim to the Island through some of the strongest currents on the B.C. coast. Trail camera footage, fresh scat and other clues indicate Takaya learns quickly and has adapted to his marine environment.

Alexander sets out to capture his hunting behaviours on camera, and her efforts prove the wolf has mastered techniques for catching unfamiliar prey, including skinning seals for efficient consumption. She also meets up with an expert on wolf vocalizations to learn about what Takaya might be saying with his lonesome-sounding howls.

MORE:
Victoria photographer spends years documenting the life of a lone wolf off Vancouver Island
Victoria's lone wolf: After years of living alone, he may have a potential companion

A trip to Yellowstone National Park sheds more light on Takaya’s unique situation. Since being reintroduced to the park in the mid-90s, the wolves of Yellowstone have become some of the best-studied in the world, and Alexander joins an expert on location to better understand how critical pack life is to wolves — and just how precarious life is for an ageing lone wolf.

Back in B.C., Alexander wonders what lies in store for Takaya in his solitary existence. That is, until she finds out a female wolf has been spotted on the edges of the city. And it looks like she’s headed for Discovery Island.

 

Credits (Click to expand)

Hych’ka siem (thank you) to the Songhees Nation, upon whose traditional lands
Takaya lives, for advocating that the wolf remain free.

Co-Director & Executive Producer
MARTIN WILLIAMS

Creative Consultant & Executive Producer
CHERYL ALEXANDER

Senior Producer
GABY BASTYRA

Executive Producer
ANDRÉ BARRO

Producers
BRUCE WHITTY
KIM BONDI

Director of Photography & Additional Field Directing
MIKE MCKINLAY

Writer & Co-Director
MARY MARGARET FRYMIRE

Editor
BRYAN SULLIVAN

Music Composer
CATO HOEBEN

Production Managers
KYLIE WALSH
SARAH MAY
KATIE HARMSWORTH

Production Coordinator & Archive Researcher
KELLY FORDHAM

Sound Recordist
GILLES MAILLET

Post Production Supervisor
JAMES LOURENCO

Post Production Coordinator
RICHARD CAREY

Assistant Editor
CATE DUFFY
WERNER DIETER THOMAS

Associate Producer
AMABEL ADCOCK

Online Editor
JAMES SCOTT

Sound Mix
IMAGESINSOUND

Graphics
CHRIS MURCH
CHRIS TEW
JOE PASCALE
XERXES CORTEZ

Special Thanks
DAVID GREEN
LORNA KNOWLES
ROB NIVEN
JIM DUTCHER
JAMIE DUTCHER
FRED HARRINGTON
DOUG PATON
MEREDITH DICKMAN
KIRA CASSIDY
PAUL HARDER
JUTTA KAFFANKE
MIKE SHEEHAN
LESLEY WOLFE-MILNER
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
CHERYL’S FAMILY
CANADIAN COAST GUARD

Additional Footage
APRIL BENCZE
CALLUM MCCABE
CHERYL ALEXANDER
MATTHEW HOOD
TAVISH CAMPBELL

Stock Footage & Stills
CTV NEWS
COLIN MANN
DISCOVERY ACCESS
GRIZZLY CREEK FILMS
JIM ZAKRESKI
LARRY A TAYLOR
LIVING WITH WOLVES

Directors of Production for Talesmith
MARK WRIGHT
ULLA STREIB

EVP, Production & Administration for Cineflix
SHERRI RUFH

EVP, Post Production for Cineflix
LYNN VAN ROOYEN

Produced with the participation of
A CANADA/UNITED KINGDOM CO-PRODUCTION

Produced with the participation of

The Province of British Columbia
Film Incentive BC

Produced By
In association with
&
For the CBC

General Manager, Programming
Sally Catto

Executive Director, Unscripted Content
Jennifer Dettman

Senior Director, Documentary
Sandra Kleinfeld

Senior Director of Production, Unscripted Content
Alexandra Lane

Executive in Charge of Production
Sue Dando

The Nature of Things
Produced by
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
cbc.ca/natureofthings

© 2019 CINEFLIX (TAKAYA) INC./ TALESMITH LTD./WILD WOLF MEDIA INC.
All rights reserved
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