Wild again

  • Wolf

    Monte Sloan
  After several days of milling around their newly opened pens, all 14 Yellowstone Park wolves are wild once more. Most of the wolves remain in packs, but two young wolves are traveling solo, according to park spokeswoman Marsha Karle. The wolves have killed a buffalo and possibly an elk inside the park, which Karle says is great news, since the wolves have probably never seen bison before. The Park Service has tracked the wolves by air and radio telemetry since March 21. Three wolves wandered about seven miles outside the park into the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, but doubled back into Yellowstone a few days later. "We don't know what they're going to do," says Karle. "We've never done this before. But they're looking for their territories. All good signs." Meanwhile, state and federal officials aren't getting along as well as the wolves. The day before the wolves' release, Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer sent Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt a letter blasting him for disregarding state concerns, and detailing Wyoming's plan for dealing with wayward wolves. "Bruce Babbitt, in his arrogance, had the audacity not to even call the governor to tell him when the wolves would be released," said Jimmy Orr, a spokesman for the governor. U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist Ed Bangs apologized for overlooking state concerns and promised to cooperate with Wyoming wildlife wardens.

* Elizabeth Manning

High Country News Classifieds