American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is an utterly amazing story of the rise and reign of the most famous Yellowstone wolf, O-Six and the people who loved her.

Wolves were once abundant in North America until they were hunted to almost extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920’s.  In recent times, conservationist have brought wolves back to the Rockies.

In this book, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, and alpha female.  She is uncommonly powerful, a kind and merciful leader, an intelligent fighter and mother….all of which caught the eyes of wolf watchers as unusual for a female wolf to hinder all of these characteristics.

O-Six raises her pups, protects her pack while the challenge of hunters lingering in the woods who compete with the wolves for elk, cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and other Yellowstone wolves who all want control of the Lamar Valley.

I loved Nate’s vivid writing.  I felt as though I was right there in the heart of Yellowstone, running with O-Six and watching from afar as her story unfolds.  Once the story started, it was hard to not finish in one sitting as the hardship and triumphs of this amazing creature plays out.  O-Six’s story pulled at me emotionally and I learned quite a bit about the nature of these beasts of the wild.  This book will make you want to travel to Yellowstone, to see the natural beauty and wildness in one of the country’s most iconic landscapes.  Highly recommended read!

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