The killing of a popular Yellowstone National Park wolf, Spitfire, has sparked debate and a call for the change of wildlife hunting policies around national parks. According to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, everything about it was legal, since the killing took place outside of Yellowstone National Park. However, it draws into question the hunting policies along the fringe of national parks like this.
This particular case has caused increased debate, in part because of the popularity of the 7-year-old wolf, named “Lamar Canyon Wolf Pack member 926F” by scientists, but also because of its lineage. According to The Weather Channel, “Spitfire was the daughter of former pack leader, 832F — famously known as “06,” her birth year — who was also legally killed by a hunter in 2012, according to Yellowstone Wolf’s Lamar Canyon Pack page.” Some people had gone as far as calling 832F “the most famous wolf in the world.” Similarly, Spitfire had become popular with tourists, wildlife photographers and locals of Yellowstone.
The Weather Channel shares more:
“One of the big reasons 926 is so very important to so many people is her lineage, which goes back to the very beginning,” said Rick McIntyre, a retired staff member of the Yellowstone Wolf Project.
Spitfire’s bloodline stretches all the way back to wolf No. 9, one of the first wolves used to repopulate Yellowstone from Alberta, Canada, more than 20 years ago. Yellowstone wolves were eradicated in the 1920s before being reintroduced in the 1990s. There are now around 100 wolves in 10 packs scattered across the park.
Spitfire’s death has sparked a renewed push to create a hunt-free buffer outside the park’s boundaries for animals that live within the park but wander outside its grounds from time to time.
You can read the full story on The Weather Channel.
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