The Old Guard at the Sikhote-Alin Reserve in Primorye—the Soviet biologists now dead or retired—were seriously tough individuals. They lived in Ternei before that village could be reached by car; a human enclave besieged by mountain, forest, and sea. Their workplace was true wilderness where, over the years, they endured harrowing experiences as a matter of routine. One biologist recounted how he once killed a charging bear with a hatchet.
So, when one of the Old Guard began recalling his encounter with a Eurasian wolf decades prior, I sat forward. This was going to be good.