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Biologists confirm a large wolf pack in Wyoming area

2 were trapped, died; 16 may still be around

DANIEL, Wyo. — Federal biologists are monitoring a new wolf pack discovered in the Wyoming Range west of Daniel.

As many as 16 wolves, primarily pups, were discovered Sept. 12.

"We had heard reports last fall and all through the winter that there were three wolves there," said Mike Jimenez, project leader for wolf recovery in Wyoming. The larger number was a surprise to biologists.

In August, federal trappers confirmed two sheep kills in the area due to wolves and suspected as many as a dozen more. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set traps to try to capture the offenders.

Two wolves were caught and both died from heat.

Jiminez said he took the risk of trapping during the hottest part of the summer because the wolves had been troubling livestock. Trappers saw a third wolf near the two trapped ones and concluded that they were the trio that had been seen last winter.

After a report of a heifer killed by wolves near Daniel, federal biologists set two traps and caught two male pups, which were radio-collared and released.

The following day, Sept. 12, two female pups were caught. The trapper spotted more wolves in the open sagebrush and counted 16 in all.

Jiminez guesses the sudden appearance of such a large pack is the result of a double litter.

The pups have likely been in the den and staying close to a rendezvous site, which would explain why there have been few sightings until now, he said.

The Daniel Pack is the eighth wolf pack in Wyoming living outside Yellowstone National Park. Four of the wolves in the pack are radio-collard and will be monitored closely, Jiminez said.