Sharing moments in time…

Meet Akela – The Alpha Wolf


This is Akela – the alpha female of the river wolf pack at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone.  The discovery center is a nice place to visit while you up in that area and a good place to learn about bears and wolves.  I made it part of my itinerary as I love wolves but hadn’t had an opportunity to get any good wolf shots as the San Diego zoo rarely has a wolf on display.  You can get a ticket to the center for $10  (which goes to the non-profit which runs the center) and it is good for two days.  I went when I first arrived in West Yellowstone  (just to check the place out) but the wolves were mostly sleeping at that time.  I went back later that evening for the 7:00PM scheduled feeding of the River Pack and was able to get some good photos of the pack interactions.

Akela – Alpha with an Attitude

As the caption says, Akela is the Alpha purely because of her attitude.  She is the only female and the smallest of the wolves in the pack but  the guides told us there is no question about who is “the boss”.  I should also say that all of the wolves in this center were born in captivity – at a facility who raises and provides wolves to the movies and TV.  The four wolves in this pack were all bought to the center as youngsters.  They also told us that it was very easy to distinguish between wolves born in captivity vs being captured later on – the wolves born in the wild never get used to the fences and they pace the fence lines constantly looking for a way out.  The wolves born in captivity always seem much better adjusted and happy.  While the habitat that these wolves inhabit is not overly large, they did seem to be happy as they played and interacted together.

8 responses

  1. crystalwalkerphotography

    So Gorgeous!! You are so lucky. One day I hope to visit the Yellowstone area. But for now I have to be happy with the beautiful Mustangs of Co. Leaving Friday for a few days to photograph them.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:15 am

    • Crystal – Definitely enjoy your trip – I can’t wait to see your pictures! I saw you post about your trip from Salida – It bought back memories – we did the Salida to Pueblo 100 mile bile ride for a couple of years while we were living in New Mexico.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:33 am

  2. Actually, I don’t think I would like to meet Akela – she’s definitely showing attitude. Nice shot.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    • Thanks Lynne. Little Akela definitely appears to rule with an “iron paw’.

      June 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm

  3. She is a beauty. I’m absolutely fascinated by wolves. I’m very happy for you that you got to see them – especially those in the wild.
    As it turned out there was an article in the New York Times this week about the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Have you been there?

    June 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    • Hi Jackie – without a doubt, I was very lucky with the wolves. I am really hoping we get to see more at Hallo Bay in a few weeks.

      I haven’t been to the Wilderness complex – have to put that on the agenda for the next trip.

      June 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm

  4. purpleowltree1234

    Wow, she means business! 🙂 She’s stunning, and Full of personality.
    Rach.

    July 10, 2012 at 2:41 am

  5. Pingback: The One with the Wanderlust | Jackie Cangro

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