Alpha male of Rose Creek Pack, no. 8, found dead in Slough Creek.
No. 8M was, of course, the second mate of famous no. 9F. Born six years ago, no. 8 was just a youngster from the nearby Crystal Creek Pack when no. 9 and her 8 pups were re-released from the Rose Creek Pen in the fall of 1995 (her original mate, no. 10M was illegally gunned down by Chad McKittrick in April 1995). No. 8 discovered the penned wolves; and he stayed nearby until they were released, and the big Rose Creek Pack formed almost immediately.
No. 8 and 9 were the alpha pair of Rose Creek until last fall, when no. 9 was driven from the pack (she is still alive and may have a new litter of pups east of the Park). No. 18F (her daughter born in 1995) is the present alpha female and was observed yesterday with 5 pups.
Another venerable alpha, no. 5F, long time leader of the Crystal Creek Pack, seems to have left the pack. She was another of the original 1995 wolves. Over the last 8 months a number of alphas have died, been killed or have left their packs: no. 5F (Crystal), no. 8M (Rose Creek), no. 9F (Rose Creek), no. 14F (Soda Butte), and no. 40F (Druid Peak).
In other news, ten pups were visually observed in the Leopold Pack yesterday.
The Chief Joseph Pack has finally returned to the NW corner of the Pack after attempts to capture them failed near their unfortunately located 2000 densite near a pasture north of the Park. The harassment, however, probably led them to do what was hoped.
July 19. Final necropsy report was that no. 8 suffered a natural death of unknown causes.
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