Black Wolf in Yellowstone National Park

A black wolf sheds its winter coat near Bicuit Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

I returned yesterday from a three-day camping trip up in Yellowstone National Park. Most of the back roads and trails were still closed so I was forced to stick to the main roads. Despite that, I was fortunate enough to happen upon a slew of wildlife, including this black wolf. He eventually found his way to bison carcass and began fighting with two coyotes over it. That’s when two rangers showed up to fire rubber pellets and crackers shells at it. It sounds mean, but it’s actually for the safety of the wolf. They wanted to get the wolf to associate being around humans as being dangerous, something I witnessed being completely necessary when a car tried to lure it closer to their window.

UPDATE 5/30/09: I was informed the other night that Yellowstone National Park rangers had to kill this wolf after chasing some people on bikes. In case you missed point, THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T FEED WILDLIFE! The animals will assume they can always get food from humans and then they will continue to harass humans any way they know how to get more food! Therefore it’s for their protection because they will be killed for being a “problem” animal.

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