Since July, the 110-pound male wolf had approached staff and visitors at close range at least seven times and had been unsuccessfully hazed each time from the Fishing Bridge developed areas. The wolf was a member of Mollie’s Pack from the Pelican Valley area, and was estimated to be between 2 and 4 years old.
The decision to remove the wolf came following a history of fearless behavior in the presence of humans, repeated visitation to developed areas within the park and numerous unsuccessful hazing attempts. Each of these factors was indicative of the wolf’s potential habituation to human food, which posed an increased risk to park visitors and staff.
According to Park officials, efforts to relocate food-conditioned animals have generally proven unsuccessful because they simply return to the areas from which they were removed.
It’s a good time to remember that intentionally feeding or allowing animals to obtain human food is a violation of park regulations, which may ultimately lead to the death of the animal involved. Park rangers vigorously enforce these regulations that are designed to protect both people and animals. Visitors are also reminded to be vigilant at all times with proper food storage by keeping food, garbage, coolers and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or food storage boxes.