The secret summer lives of Voyageurs Park wolves | Duluth News Tribune

Voyageurs Wolf Project researchers Austin Homkes (left) and Tom Gable watch a video of a wolf that triggered the trail camera in the background. The project, a collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park, tracks and studies wolves in and near the park during the ice-free months. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com

ALONG THE MOOSE RIVER — The violence happened in a tall-grass meadow, just off the riverbank, and most anyone else who might wander by here would have missed it entirely.

But dropping down on their knees, Tom Gable and Austin Homkes saw more than just depressions in the grass. They didn’t miss the tiny specs of beaver hair, the wolf scat with more beaver parts, a piece of pelvis bone from a beaver.

“Tom, we’ve got stomach contents here,’’ Homkes hollered. “This is definitely a kill site. There was a struggle and a kill here.”

Gable and Homkes found more evidence of how the beaver, apparently unsuspecting, waddled up from the river onto shore where it appears — and this is pretty much new to science — the wolf was waiting for it.

“It was always assumed that wolves attacked their prey by chasing it down, all of it… But what we are seeing in some of these GPS clusters is that some of these wolves go to places where they expect beaver to show up. And sometimes the beaver shows up,’’ Gable said. “Wolves are waiting out their prey and ambushing it.”
via The secret summer lives of Voyageurs Park wolves | Duluth News Tribune

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