Born into Yellowstone's Agate Creek pack, 06 (Oh-Six) was nicknamed for her 2006 birth year. Strikingly beautiful with a larger than normal frame, she stood out from the crowd. While many suitors tried their luck at wooing her, 06 carefully chose two black-coated brothers to be her mates. The trio settled in Lamar Valley on the former home range of her illustrious Druid Peak pack ancestors. The following spring, 06 produced her first litter of four pups and she was leading her very own pack — the Lamar Canyon pack — with 755M taking on the alpha male role and his brother 754M the beta male.
In the critical role of provider for her family, 06 showed incredible courage, strength and tenacity time and again by taking down elk all on her own — something that typically takes the cooperation of pack members to achieve. The awe-inspiring feat cemented her place as the best hunter in all of Yellowstone National Park!
An exemplary wolf mom, 06 defied the odds as incredibly all 13 of her pups survived their first year! A 100% pup survival rate is a tremendous accomplishment, since as many as 60% of pups born in the wild may perish during this period. 06 was a gentle, but firm mother, leading by example and teaching her daughters and sons all the important skills they needed to survive.
The remarkable Lamar Canyon Pack had captivated Yellowstone and beyond with its beloved matriarch, 06. The legendary alpha female's fame spread across the globe as people became aware of her extraordinary leadership.
Then on Sept. 30, 2012, the outlook for wolves in Wyoming changed drastically when U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service delisted wolves from federal protection; this resulted in a state-sanctioned wolf trophy hunt instantly endangering not only the wolf packs inhabiting Wyoming, but also the neighboring Yellowstone wolves who were accustomed to moving freely and safely in and out of the park. The thirteen-strong Lamar Canyon pack would soon be tested by these tragic events...
As winter descended upon Yellowstone, blanketing the ground with snow, resident elk herds migrated outside the park in search of vegetation. The Lamar Canyon pack members followed the path of their prey across the park boundary into Wyoming. Unbeknownst to them, an enemy waited for their arrival — a hunter who wanted a trophy wolf. On Nov. 11, 2012, he raised his rifle and killed noble and gentle giant 754M, the pack's beta male and doting uncle to the pups born each year.
Saddened by 754M's disappearance, the Lamars headed back to Yellowstone National Park where observers watched as 06 mournfully howled for her mate with no response. Never one to give up, 06 returned her family to Wyoming to continue the search — unaware that 754M was gone forever.
Another trophy hunter enticed by the tales of the big, black wolf, set out to score his own. On Dec. 6, 2012, 06 and 755M went to investigate the cry of a dying cottontail rabbit. Instead of finding their next meal, the mates encountered the trophy hunter and a deafening gunshot that rang through the air. In an instant 06s body was pierced by a bullet, leaving her lifeless and her family mourning in despairing howls of anguish that echoed through the forest.
People all over the world who admired 06 in life, now mourned the senseless loss of such an iconic wolf. The New York Times even penned a fitting obituary paying respects to “the most famous wolf in the world" as she was celebrated as by renowned wildlife photographer Jimmy Jones.
The hunter's trophy wolf came with little cost to him; yet 06 and her family paid an unfathomable toll. He gutted 06s body, and preserved her skin and fur; the world-famous wolf had become simply decoration. Without their leader, the mighty Lamar Canyon pack destabilized and fragmented with just two daughters remaining in Lamar Valley to carry on the pack's legacy. If that wasn't enough, tragedy struck again six years later when 06s daughter, 926F, was killed by another hunter — less than a mile outside the park boundary.
A force of nature, a superstar admired around the world, and a legend in her own lifetime; 06 is now forever immortalized as the champion for all wolves facing trophy hunting threats. Her powerful story continues to move the hearts of people, galvanizing advocates to fight for a world where wolves live harmoniously alongside humans.
The 06 Legacy is grateful to award-winning, internationally published wildlife and nature photographer Jimmy Jones for celebrating 06 through his incredible images of her. Jimmy has additional one-of-a-kind images of 06 and her Lamar Canyon pack on his website, as well as a blog dedicated to her memory. We are privileged to feature Jimmy's outstanding work throughout this website! You can also follow Jimmy on Facebook.
McIntyre celebrates the legacy of our namesake 06, the most famous wolf in the world. 06 was revered around the world for her beauty, intelligence, strength and hunting prowess. You too will be captivated by 06 after reading her story. 2022
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The author, a nature writer and NPR contributor combines science and storytelling to the 300-year history of wild wolves in America. One chapter is devoted to the story of 06. The book critically acclaimed internationally, was also selected as Forbes Magazine Conservation Book of the Year. 2017