“Jewel” – Phantom Hill Wolf pack member B445

Photos and account © Lynne Stone 2009

Phantom wolf B445, Jewel
Over a week ago I was hiking north of Ketchum, when a young Phantom Hill Pack wolf trotted into view. From her appearance I knew she was B445, the most recently collared Phantom wolf. When my dog, Bo, noticed the wolf, he bounded after her, but when I called Bo back, the wolf stopped and turned around and continued to watch us with curiosity.

I had observed from afar, a few weeks before, when B445 was caught by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and collared. I watched through a spotting scope, as she woke up from being drugged, and staggered toward the rest of her pack

Phantom wolfB445 is often the nannie wolf to her younger brothers and sisters that make up this year’s pups, stepping into the role after Judith, B326 went on her adventure this year. At least three pups have been seen. There are probably more. I heard them howling recently at night and it sounded like three to four pups howling in response to the rest of the pack.

B445 was still shedding out her thick winter coat of fur when I saw her close-up. Now that weeks of rain (unusual for central Idaho!) has stopped, the weather is finally warm, and B445’s fur will soon be sleek.

During my recent eye-to-eye encounter with B445, I was never for a moment afraid. What I observed, was that B445 was very curious of us (my dog and self), as we were intruders into her pack’s territory. I thought of B445’s older sister, B326 – Judith, and how that this younger wolf, was certainly a jewel. Her beautiful silky movements, her intelligent, inquiring amber eyes — well, the name Jewel seemed to fit her.

(All Idaho wolves when caught and radio-collared are given a number with the letter B preceding it.)

 

Phantom Hill Wolf - Jewel (B445)
 

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