American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West
By Nate Blakeslee
Crown Publishers, 2017. 300 pgs. Nonfiction
Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and since then, park rangers and conservationists have been watching and tracking individual wolves and wolf packs throughout the Rockies. Using this data so meticulously collected, Blakeslee has written the dramatic story of O-Six, a large, clever alpha female who reigned the Lamar Valley. But the story of this beloved wolf cannot be told without also introducing wolf watcher Laurie Lyman and park wildlife expert Rick McIntyre who together helped to build O-Six's the celebrity and use her life to argue the case for keeping wolves on the endangered species list and safe from hunters determined to keep their numbers low.
American Wolf is written with a wonderful pace and inspired passion. The plight of the wolves is carefully described, but the author also attempts to describe the arguments of the ranchers and hunters who feel no love for the creatures. The author is definitely biased for the wolves, but admirably manages to keep the other side from being vilified. Perfect reading for animal and nature lovers...also for anyone who just wants a good true story.