Denali National Park in Alaska goes through bad times: a male wolf has been found dead, killed by hunters, and the female and their two pups have disappeared. Wolves are an endangered species, and the particular leader of this wolf pack had been in the park for many years.
Denali Park’s wolf pack was called East Fork, and scientists were very fond of the wild animals’ group, as they had been studying them for more than 80 years. Adolph Murie studied their ancestors for the first time, back in 1930. He even wrote a book about them, called The Wolves of Mount McKinley, (1944).
Statistics show that hunters are to blame for the majority of deaths of wolves, as well as other animals, in the past year. The bad news is that, outside the park, hunting is not banned, so if the animals leave the preserve, laws cannot protect them anymore.
Scientists fear that there are only 50 wolves left alive right now in Denali. This is a worrying number, as the species may go extinct. The East Fork wolf pack helped researchers understand the way their group works, in terms of behavior and habits, as the members had tracking devices that allowed scientists observe more of them in their natural habitat.
The East Fork wolf pack going extinct is a great loss for the Denali National Park, and a great loss for biologists as well. Visitors were also fond of the wolf pack, as the legendary animals were often admired and considered the park’s celebrities. Alaska Public Media reports on the pack’s popularity:
“(…) probably the most viewed wolf pack in world history (…).”
With the male wolf shot, specialists think that the female and the pups might not be alive anymore.
Wolves are indeed an endangered species, and biologists and officials try to come up with new solutions so that they can be safe. On the other hand, if wolves wander free, those who won’t be safe anymore are people, who are allowed to defend themselves and shoot the animals. However, it is not the animals fault either that humans are constantly destroying their natural habitat. Losing certain species can have damaging effects on the world’s ecosystems, so a solution is required as soon as possible.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia