The ‘Most Famous Wolf in the World’ Lived Hard—and Died Tragically

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The ‘Most Famous Wolf in the World’ Lived Hard—and Died Tragically

The alpha female dominated the wolves of Yellowstone. But outside the national park, she was vulnerable.

In 2012, “the most famous wolf in the world” was shot by a trophy hunter outside the sanctuary of Yellowstone National Park. She was known as ’06, and her death caused an international outcry comparable to the killing of Cecil the Lion in 2015. It also led to a new awareness of the plight of wolves and demands for greater protection, as Nate Blakeslee explains in his new book American Wolf. [Find out why wolves are so polarizing.]

Speaking from his home in Austin, Texas, Blakeslee explains how the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone sparked a renaissance of other species, from bald eagles to beavers; why the fight over wolves is part of a larger struggle about who should control public land; and why the hunter who killed ’06 feels no remorse.

’06 was the alpha female of one of the most visible packs in Yellowstone National Park. She first came to the wolf watchers’ attention in 2009, when she was a lone wolf. Wolves have to leave their natal packs to make their way in the world, find a mate, and establish a territory.

She had been wandering for quite some time when she was spotted in the area of the park known as the Lamar Valley, Yellowstone’s wolf-watching mecca. They spotted her mating with a number of different males, but never settling down. She drew their attention as a wolf that had a lot of moxie and was very adventurous.

It’s dangerous for wolves to wander like that, trying to find a territory. Most of them end up going back to their natal pack or being killed by rival packs. But she had a knack for avoiding trouble and was very socially adept and skilled at navigating territorial rivalries.

[See photos of wolves taken by a “carcass cam.”]

Source: The ‘Most Famous Wolf in the World’ Lived Hard—and Died Tragically

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Arlene Cirocco

2 months ago

Sick and tired of the lousey poachers/ranchers/trophy hunters killing our innocent wolves!!….wolves do no harem. It is the humans should be “culled”

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