Park officials chasing down problem wolf; Canyon pack to be hazed

It’s not a good time to be a wolf in Yellowstone National Park, as several wolves have become too familiar with the humans present in the Park — to the point where the wolves need removal.

First, a single wolf in the Old Faithful area has become much too familiar with humans, to the point of chasing bicyclists and bikers. Park officials think a single young wolf is doing this. While coyotes are known for trailing humans (or other critters; we once watched a coyote tail a badger near Riverside Geyser in hopes of scavenging what the badger chose to left behind), wolves tend to avoid humans, much less chase them.

But that’s been the case recently. The solution: Park officials are hunting the problem wolf down. No mercy, either, for the young wolf: it’s a case of shoot to kill.

Meanwhile, over at Mammoth Hot Springs, the four-wolf Canyon Pack will be hazed in the hopes they leave the area. They, too, apparently are a little too comfortable living close to humans. The four set up a den close to the roads leading out of Mammoth Hot Springs — a move that forced Park officials to put up barriers preventing roadside gawkers who might get too close to the pack. The thought is that the hazing will force the wolves to retreat into the high country or back to their own stomping grounds — far away from humans.

The thing to remember: there’s never been an instance of a healthy wild wolf attacking a human. Generally speaking, wolves will keep their distance from people; even the wolves mentioned in this article haven’t actually approved any Park visitors. Still, the danger of wolves becoming used to humans is great enough where the Park Service feels compelled to take strong action.

RELATED: The biggest hit of Yellowstone’s summer season so far? The Canyon Pack

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