Yellowstone wolves fall in rifle sights
She was a tough, wary wolf. A genius at tactics. Cruel when she had to be, and when you're a wolf, that's pretty often. Wolf 527, a huge, black female, was the alpha female of Yellowstone National Park's Cottonwood pack, until she died earlier this month in Montana's first modern wolf hunt.
Yellowstone's wolves are familiar to viewers of National Geographic and BBC documentaries, so there was more than a little mourning for the four Cottonwood wolves who died.
Yet in the gorgeous valleys around Yellowstone, there were few tears shed. Many residents there believe the 60% drop in the northern Yellowstone elk herd can be attributed to the reintroduced predators.
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-- Kim Murphy
Photo: Wolf 527, killed on Buffalo Plateau on Oct. 3. Credit: Dan Stahler / National Parks Service