A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The enthralling true story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her.
Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West.
With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with gray fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly renowned naturalist Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world.
But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park’s stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.
These forces collide in American Wolf, a riveting multigenerational saga of hardship and triumph that tells a larger story about the ongoing cultural clash in the West—between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country’s most iconic landscapes.
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A moving and informative account of the animals, people and issues involving the Yellowstone wolves. Although certainly “pro wolf”, the author presents opposing views and even goes to great effort to humanize one of the hunters involved. The author succinctly explains the complexities, politics, and tensions between human interests, while also grippingly involving the reader in the lives of the wolves. Both heartbreaking and uplifting!
At times as I read this fascinating non-fiction story, I had to remind myself that it was not a novel. This is a great tale (although true) of a beautiful wolf and a great man who lived and studied this wolf and its ancestors in the wilds of Yellowstone. I learned to love the wolves that were gloriously featured and the men and women who made the introduction of the wolf in Yellowstone come to a successful outcome.