One wolf’s journey from survivor to star, and what her death says about our appetite for the wild
From the Missoula Independent:
In late October 2007, a white wolf died in Yellowstone National Park. The story had all the trappings of a Jack London novel: a turf war between rival packs pitting tooth against tooth with deadly consequences. The Hayden Valley pack had been living an increasingly hardscrabble life in the core of the park, sandwiched between the territories of two larger packs and ranging widely in search of food. They had denned for years in full sight of Yellowstone’s Otter Creek picnic area and wandered throughout the broad Hayden Valley, occasionally weaving in and out of traffic as visitors stopped to watch. Dozens and sometimes hundreds of tourists and veteran wolf watchers would convene along the pullouts on the Grand Loop and train their eyes on the far side of the Yellowstone River, hoping to spot the pack and its pups. Most prized was a glimpse of the white alpha female, a wolf known as 540, whose light-colored coat was rare among gray wolves.