Some of the Sloughs come back to the Lamar Valley

7-14-2006


For folks going through wolf watching withdrawal with only the Agate Pack being consistently seen, and the Hayden Pack perhaps being hounded by tourists, Kathie Lynch reports a rare (at least since May) sighting of the Sloughs back in the Lamar. The Sloughs generally hung out upstream from the campground and even north of the Park after the Unknown Pack beseiged their den last Apri and May. Thanks as always, Kathie!

YNP WOLF Field Notes, mid-July, 2006. © By Kathie Lynch

(July 14) We had a welcome diversion when three Slough Creek pack wolves returned to Lamar Valley! The three blacks, including the alpha pair, huge 490M and 380F (the alpha pair, who had not been seen together for perhaps a couple of months), and beta 527F put on a good show for about four hours as they traveled east from Slough Creek through Lamar Valley and up through the K Meadow toward Specimen Ridge.

At the Druid Peak pack's old rendezvous site in Lamar Valley, the Sloughs made a very thorough inspection with a lot of scent marking and careful sniffing. This was especially interesting because that was also the site of the four adult Druids' attack on four of the Unknown group wolves about a month ago. We wondered what the Sloughs' noses told them and what it all meant to them.

As we watched from the exclosure hill, it seemed like old times as the Sloughs bedded briefly on the little dirt hump in front of the middle foothill in the rendezvous area, right where we had so often watched the Druids bed in days gone by. The Sloughs then stood together and howled in unison toward the west, their three black silhouettes creating an unforgettable image in perfect profile.

The Sloughs then continued confidently east with tails held high. They reminded me of a time, not so long ago (winter/spring 2005), when 15 Sloughs with tails held high ruled the Lamar Valley after dislodging the Druids. Perhaps the other seven scattered Sloughs, who survived this spring's siege of the Slough Creek den by the Unknown group, will heed their leaders' calls and reunite to become a powerhouse pack once again.


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