Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Yellowstone's Wolf Population: At Risk?

National Public Radio gets me updated on the day's events as I drive home from work. Today, there was a report about canine parvovirus as the most likely cause in the decline of Yellowstone National Park's wolf population. In short, it's a deadly virus with no cure and the wolves can contract the virus by sniffing the doodoo of an infected domestic dog.

I was working in Yellowstone when the wolves were reintroduced. It was a controversial time, as farmers of surrounding communities feared the "big bad wolf." Soon after the wolves were introduced, President Clinton and his family visited the park. I worked with the security detail (which has no point to this story - I just want all to know my role in the President's visit).

I remember one of the highlights of the trip was Chelsea feeding the wolves. Now, I did not see this but my imagination pictured the following: a park ranger handing over a road-kill elk thigh to Chelsea. She wraps her arms around the leg and rests the meaty part on her shoulder. Somehow, she manages to wobble to a fence and tip dinner over the fence while calling out, "here wolfie, wolfie." What happens after that, is up to anyone's imagination...

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