Gray wolves are pretty scarce in Yellowstone National Park, with less than 100 across all 2.2 million acres. So, when a California man was driving through the park and spotted a pack in his headlight, it’s a rare occurrence.
On September 11, Daryl McKay posted a minute-long video on Facebook of himself and the copilot driving across a pack of seven adult wolves. In the video, McKay and his companion are thrilled to see the wild animals at night.
‘Once in a Lifetime’ Encounter
McKay posted the video to the National Park Service Fan Page, which has close to 132,000 members. It has over 2,000 reactions so far with any of the comments calling the encounter “once in a lifetime”.
One user, Roy McCullough, commented on the photo, saying, “Pretty amazing. With all the hiking I’ve done, I’ve still never seen a wolf in the wild.”
He captioned the photo, “Caught the whole wolf pack in the roadway… Here is the entire video of our simply amazing and awesome experience tonight while driving back from a day trip to Cody…..taken with our iPhone …. just before Gibbon Falls between Norris and Madison junction…. we got to watch these beauties for about 15 minutes, including a lot of howling..!!! at approximately 10 p.m. on September 11, 2020.”
McKay slowed his car to give the pack space and not to frighten any of the animals in their habitat. He followed the pack as they ran down the winding road. None appeared to be afraid of the vehicle, however. One wolf is even seen taking his time to cross the street.
Yellowstone park officials recommend bystanders to stay at least 100 yards away from wolves, which are said to be “unpredictable and dangerous”.
“Holy sh*t. We got the whole pack. Look at them! There is a white one. There is a black (one). Oh my god!” McKay and his companion say in the video with excitement.
McKay was on his way home from a day trip to Cody, Wyoming.
Gray Wolves in Yellowstone
The National Park Service says that this year will mark the 25th anniversary of gray wolves being released in the park. Park officials believe 528 live “in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem” with at least 94 in Yellowstone’s boundaries. Those 94 wolves are part of eight different packs.
[H/T Idaho Statesman]