One of the most famous wolves in Yellowstone National Park was shot and killed by hunters over the weekend. The wolf was known by her research number, 832F. She was also called '06 Female — 2006 was the year she was born.
This wolf was the alpha female of a pack in Yellowstone’s northeastern Lamar Valley, and one of the wolves in the area collared with a $4,000 GPS tracker so researchers could study her movements. One of the most popular wolves in one of the most popular packs in the park, wolf watchers called her a "rock star" for her strength, hunting skill, and devotion to her pups.
Grey wolves were removed from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service's endangered species list in most Rocky Mountain states in 2011, they came off the list in Wyoming in October. That means it's up to the states, not the federal government, to decide how to mange their wolf populations.
The death of '06 Female is being mourned by wolf watchers all over the world and has put new focus on how states manage their wolf populations. So far this season, at least 87 wolves were shot in Montana, 120 were shot or trapped in Idaho and 58 were shot in Wyoming.
This was the first year that Wyoming allowed hunting of wolves in areas adjacent to Yellowstone. According to the New York Times, on Monday Montana’s Fish and Wildlife commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of halting wolf hunting and trapping in areas adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, citing the high percentage of collared wolves that were killed in near park hunting in Wyoming.
- Dan Stahler, Wildlife Biologist for the National Park Service's Yellowstone Wolf Project
This segment aired on December 11, 2012.