We saw some of the unknown pack today in Little America, high on a rocky knoll near Mom's Ridge, very far away and very hard to see. I remember seeing one grey and five blacks. For a short while they chased one, then two, elk at high speed into a gully. One black absolutely flew at the elk and chased them out of sight. One theory is that they are the old Rose Creek pack that was driven north out of the park a few years ago. This makes sense and I'm glad we got to see them, but don't enjoy hearing about the resulting conflicts with the Slough Creek pack.
    We drove down to Hayden Valley again today to see the Hayden Pack. We got there a little after nine and just missed seeing one wolf. Tim saw it walk into the trees, but I missed it. We looked, and waited, and gave up, driving down through the valley to look for grizzlies.
    Just as we returned about an hour later four almost white wolves were trotting along the banks of the Yellowstone River. One started to enter the river and looked like it was going to harass some ducks swimming, but instead it stepped into the water and began to swim. One by one they entered the river and glided across, only their white heads visible, noses in the air.
    The alpha female is a beautiful, almost completely white wolf. Slender and confident she climbed out of the water to an opposite bank, shook herself off and carefully darted across the road to the carcass. One of the uncollared wolves loped along the bank and disappeared. While the alpha female fed on the carcass, a yearling appeared and swam across a shallow bend in the creek to join her. Gradually, the alpha male and another yearling crossed the creek to the carcass. The alpha male fed, but the yearling did not. There are five wolves in this pack, plus this years pups, which no one has seen, and only the alpha pair is collared.
    One at a time the wolves moved off into the grass and up the slope, the alpha female leading. There must be a route they follow to return to to their den. The alpha male found a large patch of snow and lay down in it, then rolled around. Nice to have a place to cool off on a hot day. He then headed back into the grass to bed down and all we could see were ears sticking up from the sage.

Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer

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Yellowstone Experiences 2006