Wolf Man

Photo by Dan Stahler/NPS
Photo by Dan Stahler/NPS

Article by David McKay Wilson

Eco-tourists are lined up on a roadside in Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Canyon to witness two wolf packs jockeying for territory, and wildlife biologist Doug Smith ’88 is nearby with a TV crew shooting footage of the predator that has captivated mankind for eons.

It’s been seventeen years since Smith helped launch the effort to restore wolves to the 2 million-acre park. Today, an estimated ninety-eight wolves in ten packs thrive in Yellowstone. On this crisp February morning, the lanky Smith, dressed in his green wool Park Service uniform with a pair of Nikon binoculars dangling from his neck, talks about how wolves have reacted to the decline in the park’s elk herd, their prime prey.

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