A woman’s encounter with Idaho wildlife has gone viral after she shared a video of a pack of wolves on a highway in daylight.
The day after Christmas, Mikesell Clegg was driving to work on Interstate 75 between Stanley and Sun Valley when she saw a group of animals walking on the road.
“I thought it was a herd of elk because that’s a little more common,” the 26-year-old said in a phone interview.
Slowing down, she soon realized that instead of elk, it was a pack of wolves. She immediately pulled out her phone to capture the moment.
“They were just in the middle of the road and walking together as a pack,” she said. “I’d assume that because it had just snowed the roads were probably a little easier to travel because they were plowed.”
In the viral clip, the wolves disperse as Clegg approaches. The backdrop of a snowy landscape adds even more magic to the moment.
“I don’t think very many people in their lives can say that they’ve seen a pack of wolves,” Clegg said. “I think wolves are beautiful, so it was a really special experience. I can’t describe it … it’s something I know was a once-in-a-lifetime moment.”
As an Idaho native, Clegg said she had only seen two wolves in her life. During those instances, she saw an animal running across a road to flee wildfire, she said. Wolves aren’t uncommon in the area, but they’re most active at night and typically stay away from humans.
“I’ve heard them a lot of times when we go camping and they howl at night,” Clegg said.
Pack of Wolves Creates Invaluable Moment for Clegg
She said she counted nine animals during the encounter, which you can see in the 23-second video she shared via Facebook on Saturday.
“I was on my way to work this morning and saw one of the COOLEST things I have ever seen in my life! A whole pack of wolves!” Clegg wrote in the post. The following Monday, the video had more than 800 shares on Facebook and tens of thousands of views.
The post garnered hundreds of comments, many of which discussed the trapping or killing of wolves. The state’s Department of Fish and Game allows hunters to kill up to 15 wolves per year with proper tags. Earlier this year, the state amended its wolf hunting season to allow year-round hunting in some hunting units.
Clegg said she noticed the comments and hopes people remain civil about the topic.
“I know there are a lot of opinions on wolved and it’s kind of a controversial topic, but I just would hope that people would notice a beautiful video and a unique moment and appreciate that and just be kind to one another,” she said.