VIDEO. “Eye to eye” with a wolf, the exceptional meeting of a wildlife photographer in the Meuse

VIDEO. “Eye to eye” with a wolf, the exceptional meeting of a wildlife photographer in the Meuse
VIDEO. “Eye to eye” with a wolf, the exceptional meeting of a wildlife photographer in the Meuse

A wolf photographed in the Meuse. The animal did not escape the seasoned eye of young photographer Alexis Vautrin. Alone in a field of rapeseed, the canine seems to be posing. A cliché that the Meusien reveals to us.

It was a rare and intense moment that Alexis Vautrin experienced this Saturday, May 11, 2024. The young Meuse native, passionate about photography, found himself face to face with a wolf, during a photo outing. The animal froze a few dozen meters from him, for a few seconds, in a rapeseed field, on the edge of the forest. “It’s a really impressive moment. He’s a very smart animal. He felt me ​​coming. He looked in my direction. He saw me right away. We exchanged a look for 25 seconds, eye to eye”says Alexis Vautrin.

It was chance that made this meeting possible. “Basically, I had in mind to photograph wild boar”, says Alexis Vautrin. But after two hours of waiting in the woods… without seeing a wild boar. “So I went out into the plain, into a rapeseed field still in flower. And immediately, I saw a canine’s head looking at me. 30 meters away. At first I didn’t realize it. I told myself it was a very big fox. It took me between 5 and 10 seconds to realize it was a wolf. I felt a very strong emotion”recalls the 23-year-old young man.

A moment that he immortalized, in photo and video:

duration of video: 00h00mn19s

After taking a few photographs, Alexis Vautrin, full of emotion, filmed the wolf.

©France Télévisions

Alexis Vautrin now lives in Haute-Savoie where he works for the department’s Hunters’ Federation, notably on a project aimed at counting the wolf population in the Alps. Attached to his native territory, he regularly returns to the Meuse on weekends.

“It was the first time I saw a wolf in the Meuse with my own eyes. But in a few years, there will be more and more in the department. Today, throughout the Alps and everything mountainous, there are wolves. There is not much room left to accommodate packs in mounts, so the young that are born, once they are a year old, they are kicked out by the alpha males. The young people go to areas where there are no packs, to places outside the mountains. So places like the Meuse. I tell my loved ones, within two or three years, we will have packs in the Meuse”explains Alexis Vautrin.

If the encounter with the wolf happened by chance, there is one animal that particularly interests him: the deer. Fascinated by these horned animals since childhood, for him they take an important place in his photographs, but also in his life: “I spend my time doing that. I’m in certain areas all year round trying to find them. More broadly, wildlife interests me”he specifies.

Alexis Vautrin regularly shares his photos on his Instagram account, followed by nearly 8,000 people.

Until now, the only images of the wolf that he had been able to obtain in the Meuse had been taken with automatic cameras, in February 2023 and January 2024. The presence of the wolf in the department has been proven since October 2013.



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