Elli H. Radinger

The Wolves of Yellowstone

Diary extract, February 2011

"Seven o'clock in the morning in Silver Gate, Montana. I close the door to my small log cabin and make my way in the dark to the Lamar Valley, the home of the wolves of Yellowstone. At minus 43 degrees centigrade my 4x4 has a few problems starting but fights its way bravely through 30 cm of new snow.

One hour later I'm in the valley of the wolves. It's still snowing and the visibility is poor. I get out of the car and listen. Yesterday I watched the seven remaining members of the Agate wolf pack here. The mating season has begun and the Alpha Male is showing a clear interest in the Alpha Female.

Suddenly I hear a howl in the distance. I quickly grab my radio and report to "Unit One", the biologist for the wolf project, "Howling at Hitching Post". He asks me to stay and search for the animals in question.

I get out my ZEISS spotting scope and set it up. A few minutes later I have located the wolf - about two kilometres away on a hill high above the "North American Serengeti", as the Lamar Valley is also called.

As the snow slowly lessens and the storm calms down I pour a cup of coffee from my thermos flask, place the radio within range and settle down for a long day of wolf observation."

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