Sadly, the Most Famous Alpha Female Wolf Was Shot and Killed by Hunters This Week

Illustration for article titled Sadly, the Most Famous Alpha Female Wolf Was Shot and Killed by Hunters This Week

And now for some sad news from Yellowstone National Park — the New York Times reports that 832F, the very photogenic alpha female of the park's semi-famous Lamar Canyon, was shot and killed on Thursday beyond the park's boundaries thanks to state-sanctioned wolf hunts in Wyoming.

The wolf had been fitted with a $4,000 GPS collar as part of the park's wolf-tracking program. Based on data gathered from the collar, researchers knew that the pack rarely ventured outside the park boundaries, and when they did leave Yellowstone, it was only for very short periods of time. 832F was considered among scientists and photographers to be something akin to a "rock star" in the lupine world (a photo of 832F snapped by wildlife photog Jimmy Jones appears in the current issue of American Scientist), and her sudden death has further stoked a debate about the wisdom of state- and federally-sanctioned wolf hunts in the northern Rockies.

Other famous wolves have been killed this season in Idaho, just beyond Yellowstone's boundaries, and although many ranchers and hunters say the wolf hunts help protect livestock and big game populations, the hunts have interfered with scientists' efforts to track and study the movements of wolf packs. Reputed to be the "most famous wolf in the world," 832F's death has hit the scientific community particularly hard. However, if you want to feel a little better about all this, feel free you enjoy a clip from far down the West Wing memory lane, which features budding outdoorsman Ron Swanson:

‘Famous Wolf' Is Killed Outside Yellowstone [NY Times]

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DISCUSSION

allierific
Allierific

Hopefully I don't get skewered for this, but people getting mad about wolves getting killed during hunting season are about the same as farmers who live in the mountains getting mad about wolves killing livestock.

If you live with/near wildlife, this stuff is bound to happen. While it's sad for the public to see a famous wolf get killed if it weren't a highly photographed wolf, then this wouldn't be news. I spent part of my childhood in rural Wyoming/Northern Colorado. I don't always agree with hunting but I tend to respect the Forest Service when they make decisions regarding wildlife populations. It's hard because we, as a society, tend to anthropomorphise these animals, but they are wild. Things get killed in the "wild", (including livestock that people raise near wildlife!).

I get really annoyed when people live in the mountains and act shocked when bears wander into town! You're living in their area! Yes, there are occasions when bears pose an immediate threat to human life and must be killed but for the most part, humans should recognize that when you live in bear country, sometimes, you're going to see bears, and you need to protect your pets/livestock/trash or the bears WILL EAT IT AND BREAK INTO YOUR HOUSE FOR MORE.