“06 Female” and the Lamar Canyon Wolf Pack, Yellowstone

“06 Female” (06F) is the designation given to a remarkable female wolf in Yellowstone National Park. She is known as an extraordinary hunter and lately a good mother. 06F can track, corner and take down an elk on her own without any help from other wolves – a rare skill. She was born in 2006 to the Agates Pack and reached adulthood in the Lamar Valley. When I first photographed her in 2009, she was solo, not attached to any pack, and she already had a reputation as a formidable hunter.

It was our last morning in Yellowstone. We decided to make one last pass through the Lamar Valley before heading home to Silverthorne, Colorado in February 2009. As we drove past the Blacktail Plateau, we saw a group of photographers at the edge of the road. It was 06F! She was trotting parallel to the road, not more than 150 feet away and heading in our direction. She would stop every few hundred feet and howl. My lucky moment! I was able to quickly park, set up my 500mm lens and get a few memorable photographs of her as she walked past us.

06F on the prowl: (this photograph is being used by National Geographic Magazine to advertise Yellowstone National Park)

Wolf on the Prowl

Wolf on the Prowl

Is she calling for a mate?

Call of the Wolf

Call of the Wolf

We drove home with big smiles on our faces.

We returned to the park in February of 2010 and learned that the 06 Female had formed a small pack with 2 male wolves. Also we were sad to hear that the once famous Druid pack had totally dispersed and/or died off. Our trip was a disappointment in that I was not able to get close enough to photograph any wolves (see my post Coyotes of Yellowstone).

In March of 2011 we returned to Yellowstone with high hopes and learned that 06F had given birth to four pups during the summer of 2010. The Lamar Canyon pack was now seven strong. This time, while I was not able to get high quality images of the wolves we did witness and video-record a unique event. The Lamar Canyon pack (as it is now called), led by 06F, was sighted moving east along the Lamar Valley road and was predicted to cross the road near the Soda Butte rest area. We found a turn-out (along with a dozen other cars and wolf watchers) and watched with awe as the Lamar Canyon pack made its way up the valley and crossed the road about 250-300 feet away from us.

Wolf Watchers:

Wolf Watchers

Wolf Watchers

The four pups were in a playful mood as can be seen in this video:

It has been a very difficult winter for the wildlife in Yellowstone due to a snow depth that has not been seen in a decade. The wolves continue to survive, and the count has increased slightly over last year (although the 2010 count was down significantly from 2009). I last read that the 06 Female has mated and denned as of mid-April to prepare for delivery of a new brood of pups. The gestation period is 63 days.

We look forward to hearing about new pups in June and the continuing expansion of the Lamar Canyon pack.

~ by richardseeley on May 1, 2011.

15 Responses to ““06 Female” and the Lamar Canyon Wolf Pack, Yellowstone”

  1. […] “06 Female” and the Lamar Canyon Wolf Pack, Yellowstone […]

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  2. Quelle magnifique louve que 06 female.Le jeu innocent de ses petits. quel merveilleux monde animal

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  3. Thanks for the great info about these wonderful animals. I hope to be in the Lamar Valley later this month.

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  4. Saw Lamar wolves last Wednesday. What a wonderful sight. There were ten including of course the wonderful Alpha female!

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  5. Thanks for the information about “06”! Two weeks ago (May 17th) we were so luck to witness the alpha male (755M) and a young female (820F) feeding on a elk that 06 had brought down the day before. She had initially lost the elk in the river but recovered it down stream later. We also saw 6 members of the troublesome Mollie pack in the area earlier that day.

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  6. I am not sure if this was the same elk referred to in the May 31 comment. On May 15, 2012 we saw wolf 06 come down the hill running after an elk, crossing the road and then both were heading toward the river. There is a You Tube video with the wolf and elk that we saw feeding at the edge of the island (we also have video of the same thing). 06 was disturbed by some hikers across the river and she left the area after feeding on the elk for a long time. The date was May 15 and not the 16 for us. I am thinking that this is the same event. 06 left the elk at the side of the island and it probably could have been washed downriver. She pulled it to shore as best she could with her teeth prior to leaving the area.

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  7. 06 was slaughtered today by a Wyoming hunter. The world is a dimmer, meaner place.

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    • In memory of 06 female wolf (823F), who was killed yesterday by an a**hole hunter. We are deeply saddened and angered by this senseless killing of a legendary alpha wolf and the leader of the Lamar Canyon Pack of Yellowstone National Park. We have followed 06 in stories, sightings and photography since she was a pup. Now this. I do not understand hunting. I do not understand a mind that would pull the trigger on such a beautiful animal. It is a darker world today.

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  8. I was truly happy reading all the great news and then…a disaster happend, why?…

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  9. The needless slaughter of yet another wolf. Karmic justice will be too good for her killer.

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  10. She is a true legend. I walked the Lamar this past fall. Her valley. She greets me every morning on my screen first thing. She will always run the hills and valleys of Slough Creek…….

    I will never understand.

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  11. I too was heartbroken by the loss of one of the most beautiful and intelligent wolves, a credit to her species. All of you say you don’t understand but I think really you don’t want to delve into the pathology of the sick mind who destroys other alphas…wolf or human? There is an album by Buffy Sainte -Marie called Coincidence and Likely Stories and a couple of songs explain how greed and power lust in governments is to blame. Look for this album on You Tube. (Buy it if you can -cheaper than a doctorate degree in psychology!) Priests of the Golden Bull is as close as it gets to understanding the power structure and their lawyers and political lackeys. Nothing changes as long as good people sit on their hands and cry. Call up you “warrior spirit ” to protect your heart, then make political change happen. Politicians don’t care about wolves but they need votes and want money. Use their needs to avenge the murder of 06 and Limpy and the others. BTW I used to live in Silverthorne, too and I am also a photographer.

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