Oct. 6, 2004
I went to Yellowstone last weekend. The Slough Creek Pack has been entering the lower end of the Lamar Valley, such as visible from "Dorothy's Knoll." In fact, one Slough Creek yearling became caught in a snare set by coyote researchers. The wolf was struggling to free himself about 9am last Saturday. Fortunately for him the Druids were asleep about 2 miles up the valley.
The Yellowstone wolf team came out, tranquilized, radio-collared and freed the 85 pound male back in the rocks of Slough Creek. The Slough Creek Pack, now larger than the Druid partial (or is it the full pack?) had but one functioning radio collar until this wolf's accidental snaring. He is now wolf number 453M.
Dan Stahler (left) and Doug Smith carry tranquilized wolf 453M
across Lamar Valley. Photo copyright Ralph Maughan
Up near the Druid rendezvous site, when the Druids finally woke Saturday (and since), those wolves present were 255F, 286F, 302M, 374M, 375F, the "new black," an uncollared black yearling, and one pup.
Missing were the rest of the pups, 253M, 348M, 349M, 350M, 376F, and 373M (a gray yearling who was collared, but whose collar, I think, has stopped working).
There is no indication that the missing pups, yearlings, and adults are together, or are not together.
Interestingly, on Monday, 302M got in a coyote snare, but he freed himself before his non-functioning collar could be replaced with a new one.
McIntyre told me that the "new black" seemed to be getting bigger, but then it might be a profuse growth of winter fur. Due to the relaxed relationship between 302M and the new black, and their sudden appearance together, the new black might be 302's younger brother (thus originally a Leopold too).
I learned from some of the wolf watchers that the Druid Pack had made a brief excursion to east of Cooke City, outside the Park. It's hunting season there. Nothing happened, although such an excursion in the late fall of 1997 resulted in the illegal shooting of both the pack's original alpha male 38M and also the beta male, opening the way for 21M to join the pack.