Why did thousands of wolves lope up the Yellow House in 1877?

From the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:

In February 1877, a rancher named John Lovelady, riding on horseback below the caprock south of the mouth of Yellow House Canyon, witnessed thousands of wolves loping over the plains and up the Yellow House.

The wolves, he said, were maybe “twenty abreast, and the pack must have been two or three miles in length.” He saw them “heading in a northwestern course across the plains.”

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