Update on the Druids

June 11, 2002

While I was recovering from minor surgery, I spent the weekend in the snow, rain, and some sun in Yellowstone, and watched amazing wildlife drama.

It was good to see friends from last year.

Here is the latest on the Druids.

There is the main pack, denned on Druid Peak. They have at least 5 pups. I briefly saw one black pup.

106F's group has pups. It might eventually be named the "Geode Creek Pack," or other possible names (this is no name announcement).

105F's group did not den, but has picked up dispersing wolves from other packs. If the group stays together, it might possibly be named the "Hellroaring Pack."

"103F's group" isn't 103's group anymore. She left it and has been in the same place for quite a while like a denning wolf would behave. Folks may recall she denned alone last year, and got little help raising her 3 pups, 2 of which made it through the year. When radio collared last winter, 103F only weighed 70 pounds.  Her group is now being called "251F's group." They mostly hang around the Tower Junction/Garnet Hill area.

On Saturday night through scopes we watched a feeding black bear, which had probably killed an elk calf. The bear was just inside trees near last year's Druid rendezvous site, and the bear was surrounded by 3 sitting, black wolves. Suddenly, I saw them jump him. It lasted about a second. The bear went scooting off, and the wolves jostled over the small elk calf as the calf's (probable) mother kept approaching the wolves, only to be driven off. Then the bear came back and was chased off again. Next, two of the wolves, Druid yearlings 254 and 255, languidly pursed the bear for about a half mile.

The next day in the Lamar Valley snow at about noon, I saw 2 elk cows vigorously pursue a black wolf, who escaped into the trees at the base of Specimen Ridge.

Fate of no. 7Fs pups-

Doug Smith told me that despite the death of famous 7F at the "hands," er claws and teeth, of Druid 106F's group, 7's pups have survived so far being cared for by the rest of this stable, long-standing pack. Six Leopold Pack pups were observed last Thursday.

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Copyright 2002 Ralph Maughan
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