Here's the last photo I have picked from my photo session at Wildtierpark Edersee in late October.
Had to use a relatively high ISO again (tried to keep it low shooting at 1/125s only with the 400mm lens free-handed
But it worked pretty well!), so there's a bit of noise visible in the black fur, but I still liked the photo, so here it goes.
It displays what I love the most about black wolves - their amber eyes are just spectacular against the black fur!A bit of extra info on this wolf and black wolves in general:
This is a female timber wolf. She is one of two puppies born this year and living in an enclosure at Wildtierpark Edersee in central Germany.
Black wolves actually only appear in North America (although some black wolves have also been identified in the Italian Appenines too, where the population was historically threatened by inbreeding and hybridization) and are the opposites of albinos (the condition is called melanism). It has been shown that the cause for melanism is hybridization of wolves with free-ranging dogs (Anderson et al., 2009). Despite the origin of the mutation, black wolves are not likely to vanish again - on the contrary, they are increasing in number, most likely because their black fur provides a better camouflage.
Like a lot of wolves, black wolves fade in color. Most are only pitch black when very young and are then gradually lightening until they are a silverish-grey as elderly individuals.
Other photos of that day: EXIF data:
Camera: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
Lens: EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Exposure: 1/125 sec; f/2,8; ISO 800