Wildlife officials have reported that Yellowstone's most recognizable wolf was shot and killed on Thursday outside the park's boundaries. The alpha female, known as 832F by researchers, was a favorite with park tourists and her portrait graces the cover of the current issue of American Scientist. “She is the most famous wolf in the world,” said Jimmy Jones, the wildlife photographer who had photographed 832F.
Her death marks the eighth collared wolf shot by hunters since the Wyoming wolf hunt began on October 1. The $4,000 GPS tracking collar has been returned to conservation researchers, who knew, based on its data, that 832F's Lamar Canyon pack only occasionally strayed beyond the park boundaries.
Wildlife advocates have filed suit in an attempt to halt this year's controversial wolf hunts, the first of their kind in Wyoming for decades. Hunters say they are necessary to keep wolf numbers down and to protect livestock. The population of wolves in Yellowstone is currently estimated at somewhere around 100 animals.
For more on wolves in the northern Rockies read "It's Hard Out There for a Wolf" and "Wolf Pack Man: An Obsessive Biologist's Take on America's Most Controversial Predator."