One of the earliest interactions with Takaya occurred during his journey to the islands in 2012. Doug Paton met up with Takaya in his field and looked directly into his eyes. Doug’s tattoos testify to the profound impact that Takaya had on his life. Doug was the first of many people who have felt Takaya’s magic.
Takaya is an incredible ambassador for his species. He has given us a rare glimpse into the life of a wild predator and allowed people around the world to better understand and respect the nature of the wolf. His story is helping to change perceptions of wolves and their world. Takaya’s legacy will continue to inspire people to take action to make the world a safer place for wolves.
Personal accounts below illustrate the power of Takaya and his story. If Takaya and his story has impacted you, please let me know how by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Takaya has, and will continue to, change hearts and minds.
Just had to write and tell you how wonderful it was to see your film. It will touch me forever. The minute I looked into the eyes of this divine creature I understood your extended quest to commune with Takaya. What a splendid mission…one so driven by your heart and deep respect for the Wild. Thanks so much for your labour of love. I’m sure you had many questioning moments if exposing the life of Takaya would be of benefit on all levels…for him primarily and then for the viewing public. Considering how his story penetrated my being, I’m sure there are many others of like spirit who feel most blessed. So, thank you Cheryl, and may Takaya always remain safe and protected. Bless you both,
Your love for Takaya was obvious, and I really can relate to it. Wolves are the most misunderstood animals and hated by many. The way they get treated
in Canada is abhorrent, especially in BC and AB. I think your film would open the eyes and minds of at least some people, and get them to realize that Wolves
need our protection as much as Orcas, for instance, which are liked very much in BC, and are considered the same spirit in some cultures, just appearing in
Meeting a wolf the way I did that night was a singular event. It wasn’t the fact of meeting Takaya (that’s cool all by itself), it was the way he behaved that blew me away. Still does. I learned a life lesson from him in about 30 seconds that has stayed with me to this day…For me, Takaya has lived in my memory and thoughts all this time, a living presence nonetheless …
I mentioned that I experienced a ‘cardiac event’ last November, and that I’d dreamt of the wolf during that time. To make a long story short, in the dream I was in a precarious place, a dangerous situation. The wolf came to me and brought me ‘to ground’. That was exactly the experience I needed to recover from my ‘cardiac event’. I needed to ground myself and do what I had to do to survive, and things worked out very well 🙂 So, for me, wolf spirit is about survival. There’s a lot else going on there too, but doing what I have to do to survive is fundamental.
I’m sorry for your loss, our loss natures loss. We have all lost something today when the selfeshisness and ego of man can only be satisfied with the killing of such a sensitive and beautiful creature. This Wolf you call Takaya had made a shelter here at my house over the last few weeks. He had wandered over one morning, floating effortlessly and carefully not wanting to disturb anything. He was a gentle and majestic wolf with kind eyes and a gentle demeanor. The impact of those few moments will last a lifetime for me. I can only imagine the pain of those who observed his grace and gentleness for more than just a few beautiful moments.
Artwork of Grade 5 Student
In some BC schools, children in grades 1 to 6 have been introduced to Takaya through the documentary film and have been fascinated by his life. They have done units about Takaya and created art, writing and music about this inspiring wolf. Some of these projects are highlighted below. Teachers have found their students to be incredibly attentive during the film and enthusiastic to learn more.
Quote from Teachers
I had a group of students watch the documentary on Takaya and they were left awestruck. We watched the documentary right before my student teacher and I began Piloting the First Peoples in Math textbook by FNESC, this resulted in students feeling inspired remaining engaged throughout the lessons. (Grade 6/7 Teacher in BC)
I teach Grade 5 … and we recently watched your beautiful film on Takaya…a very moving story. The students were very inspired and as they are learning ukulele, they changed the words to the Lion Sleep tonight to Takaya howls tonight. (Grade 5 Teacher in BC)
(by Ethan – grade 5)
Takaya will wait and howl for a mate.
He ignores the traps and goes straight to his naps.
He sees trees and maybe some bees.
He peels seals and finds swimming eels.
He hears car wheels and eats all the seals.
(by Chloe – grade 5)
Island: sand, rocks, trees, forest, ocean, dirt, beach
Things: playing with the seals in the deep blue sea
Hunts: seals, fish, goose eggs,
In the distance, Takaya sees them shimmering bright in the sunset
Emotions: scared, shy, active mind
What he does: bathes in the cold ocean
meets the photographer Cheryl
On the island: There’s a lighthouse
All through the seasons
Quiet, small and lonely, cold
Takaya: Lone Wolf
A new book by Cheryl Alexander
Published by Rocky Mountain Books
Available for pre-order now on Amazon (US, UK, Canada, Europe), Indigo, and local bookstores.
With a provocative foreword by Carl Safina.
Endorsed by Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE; Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace:
“The story of Takaya and Cheryl reminds me of my long ago relationship with chimpanzee David Greybeard. It is only if you observe a complex animal over time, and with an open mind and heart that you can get a true understanding of the sentience of that animal, his or her being-ness. Cheryl exemplifies this approach – she is not afraid to become emotionally involved. And she knows how to tell a story that can be understood and enjoyed by anyone. I hope that this book will help create a better and more informed relationship between humans and wolves.”
The book is an enchanting and evocative look at the unique relationship between a solitary, island-dwelling wolf and a renowned wildlife photographer.
A lone wild wolf lives on a small group of uninhabited islands in British Columbia’s Salish Sea, surrounded by freighter, oil tanker and other boat traffic and in close proximity to a large urban area. His name is Takaya, which is the Coast Salish First Nations people’s word for wolf. Cheryl Alexander studied and documented this unique wolf for years, unravelling the many mysteries surrounding his life. Her documentation of Takaya’s journey, his life on the islands and the development of their deep connection is presented alongside a stunning collection of her photography. Through journal entries, interviews, and photographs, Takaya: Lone Wolf addresses a number of profound questions and tells a story that is certain to inspire, enlighten, and touch the heart. It is the story of a wild animal, alone yet at peace.
Two children’s books about Takaya will also be available in 2021: Good Morning Takaya (Board Book for ages 1-3) and Takaya’s Journey (Picture Book for ages 3 – 6).
More information about Takaya books at Rocky Mountain Books.