Beloved Yellowstone National Park Wolf ‘Spitfire’ Is Killed By a Hunter

A Yellowstone wolf watches biologists after being tranquilized and fitted with a radio collar during wolf collaring operations in Yellowstone National Park. | Location: Yellowstone Park, Wyoming, United States. (Photo by William Campbell/Sygma via Getty Images)
William Campbell/Sygma via Getty Images

A wolf who previously roamed in Yellowstone National Park and was popular to track by wolf-watching enthusiasts and researchers was killed last weekend, park officials confirmed. The wolf, known by the names “Spitfire” and Lamar Canyon Wolf Pack member 926F, was killed by a hunter after wandering outside the park boundaries.

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The 7-year-old female wolf was the daughter of another notable wolf, 832F, who previously became known as one of the subjects of the book American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West, according to The New York Times. In an unfortunate similarity, 832F was also killed by a hunter outside the park.



Men’s Journal previously was brought into the park to observe the Lamar Canyon Wolf Pack as part of Lamar Valley Wolf Week in 2012. One of the wolves the group observed at the time was wolf 832F, and two days after the group saw her, the wolf was shot and killed by a hunter 15 miles outside the park. At the time, she was the “eighth Yellowstone wolf killed by hunters” that year.

Spitfire was killed legally, but her death has led to some conservationists and researchers to call for new protections for wolves in the area.

“A game warden checked with the hunter and everything about this harvest was legal,” Abby Nelson, a wolf management specialist with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, told the New York Times.

“Everybody’s mourning, everybody’s thinking about what to do to stop this madness,” said Karol Miller, the founder of the Facebook group, The 06 Legacy, which is made up of wolf enthusiasts. “People love the Lamar Canyon Pack and people know 06 from her New York Times obituary. These are the descendants of 06, her legacy. People love those wolves.”

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