The man who lived with wolves for three years

Jean-Michel Bertrand endured months of frustration and cold to capture rare footage of wolves in the French Alps. He tells Jane Hanks why the resulting documentary was worth the hardship

The DVD of a film showing the first footage of native wolves living in the wild in France is to be released at the end of August.

It was made by a man who spent three years patiently waiting to do so in a secret valley in the heart of the Alps.

He made a film for the cinema and has written a book about his experiences, called La Vallée des Loups, which charts his extraordinary adventure and the emotions he felt when he first came face to face with a wolf.

Jean-Michel Bertrand grew up in the Alps but his career as a producer of documentaries took him to many remote corners of the world.

But he was always happiest back home and began to wonder whether wolves might be living in a valley he knew that was only accessible on foot and rich in wildlife.

He tried to get backing for the project from Paris producers but no-one was prepared to fund a film when the hero, the wolf, might not even exist. So he decided to go it alone.

Mr Bertrand stayed in the mountains for all seasons

There followed three years of trekking, setting up static cameras, looking for tracks in the mud and the snow and sitting in his hide, camera at the ...

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