The good and the sad

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Denali, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

The alpha male and female of the Grant Creek Pack, Denali National Park, Alaska.

I have posted a couple of photos of a black wolf over the last week or so.  Actually, these photos were of one of two black wolves with the Toklat pack – I couldn’t tell them apart, but I have many photos with both in them, so I know there were two.  I first saw these two beautiful wolves in the spring of 2001, they must have arrived that winter.  A biologist told me the two were siblings.  They, along with their pack mates would soon become very popular with visitors and photographers as they were regularly seen along the Park road, and even in the Tek campground! 

Unfortunately that all changed a couple of winters ago.  That winter a number of pack members were trapped while wandering outside Denali National Park.  Later that same winter, one of the two black wolves was shot (legally) by a hunter when he too wandered outside the Park.  News reports said the black wolf had been wandering far and wide after losing his mate. 

I saw members of the pack a few times that following summer, and they were very far away and even then very skittish.  So what could be good about that?  The good is what happened to the second black wolf. 

You see the second black wolf left the pack and moved east further into the Park and joined up with the collared female who I had been photographing the two previous summers.  One of those photos was yesterdays post.  You can see in this photo the black wolf, now the alpha male, is showing a bit more gray, and the alpha female in the back ground is still sporting the tracking collar.  Tomorrow I will write about their new family known as the Grant Creek Pack.

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