Wolf

This wolf, known as the white female of the Canyon Pack, was found severely injured in Yellowstone National Park. Park staff decided to euthanize the wolf.

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Yellowstone National Park officials have killed a well-known wolf after finding it too severely injured to live.

A park news release said hikers found a severely injured wolf inside the park on Tuesday near Gardiner. Park officials investigated and decided to kill the wolf.

The park did not say how the wolf got injured. Linda Veress, a spokeswoman for the park, said they could not release any information about the nature of the injuries until a necropsy is completed.

“We have to wait until we have the official results,” Veress said.

When those results will be available wasn’t clear. The park’s release did say that the wolf was “in shock and dying from the injuries.”

“Staff on scene agreed the animal could not be saved due to the severity of its injuries. The decision was made to kill the animal and investigate the cause of the initial trauma,” PJ White, the chief of the park’s wildlife and aquatic resources branch, said in the release.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokeswoman Andrea Jones said the agency isn’t involved in the investigation as of yet, and that they are waiting for the results of the necropsy.

“We stand at the ready to assist in any way,” Jones said.

Veress said in an email that the wolf was the alpha female of the Canyon Pack for more than nine years, and it lived to be 12 years old. It was born in the Hayden Valley in 2005 to two other white wolves, and it joined with a few males to form the Canyon Pack in 2008. Veress said the wolf had at least 20 pups, most of whom lived to be yearlings.

It was one of only a few known white wolves in the park. Because of that, and its wide home range, it was popular with photographers and wildlife viewers.

Park officials are asking anyone with information to call the park’s tip line at 307-344-2132 or email Yell_LEO@nps.gov.

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Michael Wright can be reached at mwright@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2638. Follow him on Twitter @mj_wright1.

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