"I owe that wolf for so many different things, and I don't know how to repay her," says Kent Laudon, wolf specialist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, speaking of the alpha female (pictured in this cell phone image) he caught and collared just a few days prior. This is the second time he's been able to collar her, and she is yielding critical data on how the wolves are using the area. She has also allowed Laudon an intimate glimpse into her life, this year revealing eight new pups. Laudon in the background listens for the alpha females signal in an area where she had previously been active. One of the things he says he admires is how he's "watching them living with cattle and most of the time not doing anything, which is a classic wolf thing to do."