Wolf Pups Killed By Car In Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park law enforcement officers are currently investigating an incident that took place November 19th when two wolves from the Junction Butte Pack were fatally hit around sunset on the road between Tower Junction and the Northeast Entrance. The Junction Butte Pack is one of the most frequently observed packs in the park, with their territory ranging between Tower Junction and Lamar Valley. Park biologists say the pups may have become too comfortable around people leading them closer to human activity. Last summer, the pack of 11 adults attended a den of pups near a popular hiking trail in the northeastern section of the park. The park closed vicinity of the den and surrounding area to the public in efforts to keep humans and pups apart. While most people quickly moved away when the pups approached the trail, some people violated the required 100-yard distance from wolves and approached the pups to take a photo. Some even illegally entered the closed area. Having grown accustomed to hikers, the pups then came close to visitors along a road. Wolf biologist Doug Smith says that having studied these pups since birth, he believes their exposure to, and fearlessness of people and roads could have been a factor in their deaths.

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