Wolf R2M, last of the 1995 Yellowstone wolves, killed by other wolves.
1-3-2003, additions 1-7, 8, and 9
Until recently the alpha male of the Leopold Pack, and just short of reaching 8 years, wolf R2M has been killed by other wolves. He was the last known survivor of the "class of 1995," the first wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone Park.
His torn body was found on New Years about a mile from the den site of the Geode Pack, the same pack thought to have killed his long-standing mate 7F, early last summer.
The Leopold Pack had long been the most stable pack on the northern Range. It was founded early in 1996, when yearling 2M, from the reintroduced Crystal Creek Pack paired with 7F, the Alberta-born daughter of famous Rose Creek alpha 9F. The Leopolds were the first naturally formed wolf pack in Yellowstone since wolves had been extirpated in the 1920s.
This fall 2M appeared to have lost a dominance challenge in the Leopold Pack by a large uncollared gray male. Following this, he seemed to have attracted a sub-adult or adult female from the nearby Geode Pack plus 2 to 4 other wolves. The Geode Pack was founded by former Druid 106F and other wolves. It is currently thought to have 8 members.
The Geode Pack had earlier this winter chased 2M's new group across the Mammoth to Tower Jct. road. 2M was killed deep in the Geode Pack Territory. 2M's group was in an uncomfortable position between the Leopolds on the south and the Geode Pack to its north.
As a footnote, there is no certainly that 2M or 7F were killed by the Geode Pack. This is the most likely conclusion based on where they were killed and the proximity of other wolves.
For a comprehensive update of all the wolves on the northern range, read my report of 12-21-02.
Earlier story mentioning the loss of alpha status by 2M. 12-17-02. Lots of wolf activity on the northern range
Mike Stark did a story on 2M for the Billings Gazette on Jan. 7. Wolves kill dethroned, founding park wolf
Rebecca Huntington did another for the Jackson Holes News and Guide on Nov. 8. Yellowstone wolf '2M' was last of the first. At the ripe age of 8, last wolf reintroduced in 1995 is killed by members of a competing packNov. 9. Table showing the fate of all 14 wolves released in Yellowstone in 1995.
Crystal Creek Pack in the Crystal Creek enclosure. Early 1995.
Wolf 2M is probably the middle wolf.
Photo: courtesy National Park Service
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