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Quiet summer for Wyoming wolves east of the Park
Absaroka Pack apparently mange free

Aug. 12, 2002

It has been a quiet summer for the Wyoming wolves east of the park -- the Beartooth, Sunlight Basin, and Absaroka wolf packs.

The Absaroka Pack which appeared to be in trouble last winter with 2 members, including the alpha male, with mange now appear to have beaten the infestation. The alpha male survived and all the pack members have their fur (mange causes infected canids to rub off their fur by scratching, leaving them vulnerable to infection, sunburn and hypothermia).

Each pack has a litter of pups, including the Beartooth Pack which was probably the final home for famous wolf 9F. Her daughter, the alpha female 77F is caring for new pups, but 9F seems to have faded away at the age of about 9-10 years. She was last seen with the pack last fall.

South and southeast of the Park in Wyoming, control has been finished on the Washakie Pack with one more member removed by death. Three members were killed by the government in the several month long action to reduce the size of the pack.

The Teton Pack at about 20 wolves thrives and has not gotten into trouble, but the observation site for the pack has become well known with not just a few interested folks at the viewing point, but entire vans from organizations like the Teton Science School.

Four head of cattle have been killed in the general area from the Gros Ventre River southeast to Union Pass -- 3 calves, and one yearling. The depredation furtherest to the south, near Union Pass may have been either the Washakie Pack or the shadowy Gros Ventre Pack (shadowy because all efforts to radio collar its members in the last 2 years have failed). Although the Teton Pack hunts part of the Gros Ventre, wolf managers are confident that the depredations were not from the Teton Pack.

The Pinedale pair (237F and uncollared male) was thought to have pups last spring, but this was either not true or perhaps the pups died. I have no further information on that pair or the Greybull Pack which lives southwest of Meeteetse, WY, and includes the wolf (B58M) that migrated hundreds of miles from central Idaho to join (or perhaps form) this most southeasterly Wyoming pack.

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  Copyright 2002 Ralph Maughan

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Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209