A famous Yellowstone wolf died this week. She was the wolf I had a solo encounter with five winters ago when hiking above Mammoth Hot Springs. I considered myself very lucky to see her with no other people present and no roads in sight. One of my top YNP memories.
The NPS press release follows. Although it states the nature of the initial injuries is unknown, it also encourages anyone with information to call them. Doesn’t sound like they’re looking for a killer bison, and usual NPS policy is not to interfere with natural processes by killing a dying animal. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more.
Well-Known Wolf Severely Injured and Killed in Park
|Date: April 14, 2017
Contact: Morgan Warthin, (307) 344-2015
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – On April 11, 2017, hikers discovered a severely injured wolf inside Yellowstone National Park near Gardiner, Montana.
Park staff investigated the situation and concluded the wolf was in shock and dying from the injuries. “Staff on scene agreed the animal could not be saved due to the severity of its injuries. The decision was made to kill the animal and investigate the cause of the initial trauma,” said P.J. White, Chief of the Wildlife and Aquatic Resources Branch. At this time, the nature of the initial injuries is unknown. An investigation into the cause of the injuries has begun which will include a necropsy.
Park staff identified the wolf as the white female of the Canyon Pack, one of three known white wolves in the park. This wolf lived to 12 years, twice the age of an average wolf in the park and had a broad range that extended from Hayden Valley to the Firehole River area to the northern portion of the park. For these reasons, the wolf was one of the most recognizable and sought after by visitors to view and photograph.
The park will provide more information about the investigation when it is available.