The Wolf of Yellowstone is killed on Gardiner’s football field

A cow elk carcass killed by wolves was taken from the Gardiner Public Schools football field on April 12, just one of the unusual incidents that come with having Yellowstone National Park as a neighbor.

Kill wolf

A Yellowstone National Park ranger oversees the removal of a cow elk killed by a pack of wolves on the Gardiner football field.

Jim Baldwin, photo courtesy of

School principal/principal Jim Baldwin posted a photo on Facebook of a park ranger standing over the picked up elk carcass as it was loaded onto a truck. The removal prevented other scavengers from gathering.

The 8-Mile Pack was credited with the overnight kill and left the site just before dawn. It is the largest pack in the park, with six adults and fifteen yearlings.

The fact that wolves are so close to humans raises concerns. If the wolves show no fear of humans, they may be discouraged by park staff shooting rubber bullets or cracker grenades. However, this pack “exhibited natural wary and wild wolf behavior by quickly traveling away from the carcass, which was largely consumed, and returning to the park,” a park spokesperson said.

People also read…

Park boundary

Gardiner High School football players run up the left path to the Yellowstone National Park boundary marker as part of their conditioning drills.


“It is common for wildlife to move through and adjacent to the Gardiner community, given its location on the edge of a national park,” said Linda Veress, Yellowstone public affairs officer. “It is common for elk, bison and pronghorns to be present on school grounds, and fewer bears and wolves. It is very rare that we document wolves within the city’s developed footprint over the last 28 years. Very rarely, if ever, do park staff that have to deal with bears and bison on school grounds.”

The school serves approximately 60 students from kindergarten through high school and has approximately 20 employees. The school’s mascot is the Bruins.


The entrance to Yellowstone National Park can be seen just beyond the Gardiner High School football field.


The town of Gardiner, with a population of about 700, is located on Yellowstone’s northern border and is separated by the Yellowstone River. The north entrance provides access to the park headquarters in nearby Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming.