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Welcome back, wolves!

Last summer, visitors to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming got to see an amazing sight: A family of four gray wolves had made its home in a wide green valley--within sight of a public road!

All summer long, carloads of people stopped to watch the wolves through binoculars and take pictures. The wolves--a mom, dad, and two pups--played, explored, and even hunted.

Years ago, before gray wolves became endangered, they used to roam the Yellowstone area. But they have been gone from there for the last 70 years. That was until last year--when scientists brought wolves back to the area.

In early 1995, scientists captured 29 wolves in Canada. They then let 14 go in Yellowstone and 15 in Idaho. During the next few years, they plan to bring more wolves to each of these areas.

As the number of wolves in an area grows, the numbers of other kinds of animals will also change. There'll probably be fewer coyotes, since wolves and coyotes compete for some of the same food. And fewer coyotes could mean more foxes, since foxes and coyotes compete for some of the same food. "It'll be fascinating to watch the changes," says one scientist.

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Title Annotation:efforts to restore endangered populations of wolves in Yellowstone National Park
Publication:Ranger Rick
Date:Feb 1, 1996
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