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Tag Archives: watchable wildlife

Of all the wildlife in Yellowstone, the wolves attract the most attention. There are people that live near the park who go out every single day to watch for wolves with spotting scopes, binoculars and cameras in hand. Most of the those people are incredibly friendly and ready to help tourists like us to find wolves and see them through the spotting scopes. They know wolves by name or number and they know the packs and which ones we might expect to see. Additionally, the National Park Service and Yellowstone Forever have a Wolf Project that started the week we were there and will continue through the month of March. These researchers were also happy to share any info they had about the wolves and other wildlife. We learned a lot while we were there. We also got a healthy dose of patience waiting to see the famous Lamar pack. These animals’ ancestry can be traced back to the original re-introduction in 1995 and 1996.

We were thrilled to see wolves hunting, eating, resting, playing and moving across the landscape. Overall we saw four different packs and three wolves from a not yet identified pack. Most of the sightings were through a spotting scope on distant hillsides. The Lamar pack had a carcass across a meadow, estimated at 300-400 yards away from the roadside where we waited to see them for hours. At last, near dusk when many of the wolf-watchers had left, they emerged to eat for a while before melting back into the woods.

We’d been told it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a fox in Yellowstone but that wasn’t our experience. We got to see one as we were making our last drive through the northern part of the park. A number of other people were watching and photographing it so it was easy to spot. Several us photographed from the road but one person had made her way down into the draw to the viewer’s left and after a few minutes the fox got up and moved farther to the right. Maybe the animal felt that she had invaded its space? There are strict guidelines for watching and photographing wildlife in the park and no doubt, it is tempting to want to get closer. It appears that this animal has a case of mange or maybe an injury to its tail.

We saw lots of bison in Yellowstone. It’s been a long winter for them (and everyone else) and their preferred route through the park is the paved, plowed road. We were often in bison jams. A scientist explained to us that if a bison is holding its tail up, it is ready to charge or discharge. And they have been known to charge cars. People too, under bad circumstances. You really do want to avoid getting close to these huge mammals. All of these photos, except the one with the scopes, were made from the car. It was pretty nerve-wracking to watch the enormous bull walk past that row of scopes knowing that if he made one turn, they’d all be smashed to the ground.

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