Journalist Nate Blakeslee chronicles the life of a wolf in the Rockies and the forces both natural and human that shape her destiny. His new book is “American Wolf: A True Story Of Survival And Obsession In The West.”
Blakeslee tells Colorado Matters Wild wolves were systematically hunted and by the 1920s they were mostly exterminated in the American West. In the mid-1990s, wildlife managers reintroduced wolves in Yellowstone National Park. He says the program’s success gave researchers opportunities to see wolf behavior rarely observed in the past. But it wasn’t just scientists watching the wolves, it was tourists too.
O-Six, a wolf named for the year she was born, was a descendant of the reintroduced wolves. She and her pack became well known to parks visitors and millions of people around the world through social media. Blakeslee, who’s based in Austin, Texas, uses her story to illustrate the political and cultural battle over wolves in the West. The book is set in Yellowstone National Park, but in the not-too-distant future Colorado could have a similar story.
Blakeslee spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner. To listen to their conversation, see more photos and to read an excerpt of the book, click here.