To the Editor:
The alpha female of Yellowstone’s highly visible Lamar Canyon Pack, O-Six, was much more than a wolf; she was a celebrity. Adored and photographed by countless park visitors, this beautiful 6-year-old gray wolf became the park’s star attraction — some even called her a “rock star.” Affectionately named by wolf researchers for the year she was born, O-Six wore an electronic collar which tracked her every move and showed that 95 percent of the time she and her pack remained inside the park’s boundaries.
In 2012, Wyoming’s wolves were removed from federal protection, and these magnificent, once-endangered animals were allowed to be killed in 83 percent of the state — on sight, any time, without a license. Tragically, on Dec. 6, 2012, O-Six made one of her rare forays outside the park and fell victim to a trophy hunter’s bullet. Her death produced public outrage, made international news, and even The New York Times posted her obituary.
O-Six is gone but hardly forgotten. Texas author Nate Blakeslee’s new book, “American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West,” is already a best-selling thriller with O-Six serving as the story’s central character. In a book review, the Texas Observer had this to say: “A tight, dense narrative, American Wolf races along like a predator on the hunt.” Primarily narrative nonfiction, most of the story is constructed from hundreds of hours of interviews and years of meticulous notes compiled by park ranger Rick McIntyre and wolf-watcher Laurie Lyman. Even before “American Wolf” was published, Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company had purchased the movie rights to the book. If the movie “races along like a predator on the hunt,” as does Blakeslee’s spell-binding book, then be assured that this will be an upcoming box office hit.