The famed Denali National Park and Preserve wolf pack is now down to one lone wolf after a hunter killed her mate when he wandered just outside of the park. Now, rangers are hoping that the lone black female will have pups, but environmentalists are again calling for the end of wolf hunting, particularly just outside of the park. She is all that remains of the East Fork pack. Last year, hunters legally killed a pregnant female and a male. It is incredible that hunting is allowed around such a dwindling and important population, but global calls for the state to curtail hunting outside of the park have been rebuffed.
The male had a radio tracker but hunters looked to be on state lands just outside of the federal park. We will not know if the last survivor will have pups until early July. (I will be hiking in the area around that time!)
Denali National Park is home to nine wolf packs, including the Toklat or East Fork pack. They are a major draw for tourists and an iconic symbol of Alaska. The East Fork pack has dwindled in the past two years from 14 members.
Due to the refusal of the state to stop the hunting of these magnificent animals, the female is all that remains. So, to allow a single hunter the joy of shooting a wolf, we could all lose the opportunity of seeing wolves in the wild in this area. I have long supported hunters in many areas, but there needs to be responsible and balanced rules.