Many species of wildlife rely on sick or injured animals to feed themselves and their young. If the person refuses to follow that guideline, the state advises contacting a local licensed rehabilitation center. One such licensed facility is the Montana Raptor Conservation Center in Bozeman , the largest of its kind in the state, with a service area spanning hundreds of miles. A lot of rehab centers have consulting veterinarians but few can do complicated surgeries, such as fixing broken wings.
For young birds lacking flight and survival skills taught by their parents, hard calls have to be made.
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Last week, a peregrine falcon struck a vehicle and broke its wing. Another patient was a bald eagle from eastern Montana that suffered a gunshot wound to the wrist and earlier another bald eagled received treatment for lead poisoning, caused by eating game birds filled with lead from shotgun shells. In , the conservation center cared for a record raptors and over the years has treated almost 3, Back in the s, a strong windstorm blew bald eaglets out of their nest in Yellowstone.
Park officials said that because it was a natural event, they were left on the ground to cope with whatever fate would come. On the other hand, Yellowstone netted a wolf along the roadside that was bloody and injured. Smith said it looked like it might have been struck by a vehicle.
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The lobo died shortly after being brought in for veterinary treatment but a necropsy revealed its wounds came from a fight with other wolves. Every year, animals in Yellowstone break through thin ice on rivers and lakes. In streams roaring with snowmelt, young bison and elk, unable to navigate the current, are swept away. Some make it to shore and others do not. There is some speculation that the bison calf brought to Yellowstone rangers had become traumatized and separated from its herd because of a harrowing river crossing.
Smith recalls the day a bison calf fell into Blacktail Pond. Human onlookers pleaded to a seasonal ranger to intervene as it slowly drowned. The ranger rescued the animal even though it went against park protocol. There are inconsistencies. Bekoff remembers watching a documentary on Yellowstone wolves made by filmmaker Robert Landis. A woman sitting in front of him expressed indignation that one of the scenes featured a bison that had become trapped in ice and slowly dying from hypothermia before it was feasted upon by lobos.
The alpha pair of the Hayden Pack got killed by members of the Mollie Pack. Sometimes tinkering with the system and bending hard and fast rules is necessary to perpetuate a species. At remote Grebe Lake, where climate change has caused more flooding of nest sites and rising numbers of hikers and anglers has caused disturbance, Yellowstone installed an artificial nesting platform and it yielded the first successful crop of cygnets since Of course, one of the most contentious episodes in Yellowstone history occurred last summer when a grizzly with two cubs mauled and partially consumed a hiker near the western shore of Yellowstone Lake.
The mother bear was captured and ordered destroyed by park superintendent Dan Wenk out of concerns the grizzly could attack again. What to do with the surviving orphaned cubs generated hundreds of thousands of comments, including a petition drive that called upon Wenk to send the bruins to a rehabilitation center and then re-release them in the wild. Just south of town, pronghorn race across the rolling brown hills. Gardiner also sits in the heart of bison and elk winter range. Breakfast over, at Landis climbs behind the frozen steering wheel of his little hatchback.
The engine whines. Two minutes later, he cruises by a herd of town elk bedded in the snow. Landis turns left at the first and only junction in the sleepy village, then drops down a lengthy hill before crossing an icy high-level bridge. Finally, the Subaru inside warms from a frosty 20 degrees to something above Landis unzips his coat.
He four-wheels it up the snow-covered incline into the wintry hills of the Blacktail Deer Plateau. Headlights illuminate flits of flying snow. What sets a Landis film apart from other wildlife cinematographers is his ability to capture unique wildlife moments. Landis has filmed ravens rolling barrel-style down a snow bank, playing, and coyotes hunting as cooperative partners with badgers.
His unflappable persistence to film day after day, season after season in Yellowstone, allows him to shoot rare scenes others never see. Today his work is in the same league as that of Wolfgang Bayer and Hugh Miles, although Landis is not as well known. We hunkered down in that blind for a couple of days and it was amazing to see thousands of geese — snow geese and blue geese and Canada geese — all flying just. Together, they shot ducks and hooked trout and photographed wild animals.
Landis and his son booted their way through stubble fields in search of pheasants. They slogged through marshes and listened for beating wings. Landis was born on July 11, , in Appleton, Wisconsin, when his father was Landis was the youngest of four children, including an athletic brother and two sisters. John is nine years older; Ruth is seven years older; and Peggy is five years older.
Landis was busy running a large Army-Air Force hospital in Illinois. Two other children, a boy and a girl, both died of scarlet fever before John was born. They were loud and the sounds of their beating wings and honking were incredible. Landis hunted bears, sheep and birds, hunting ducks was his favorite sport. Those early outdoor experiences were less than pleasant. Father and son sat together in duck blinds, in bone-chilling cold, when nothing much happened. Hunkered down in a metal duck skiff while watching the sky and idling the morning away seemed like a thumb-twirling, miserable existence.
Bob remembers not liking it much. But as he matured, he became more successful hunting ducks and learned how to dress. As their experiences grew, so did their collection of memories and footage, and both father and son derived much satisfaction from showing their films to others. Born in Indiana in , Dr. Ralph Landis was five when his family moved to Wolford, North Dakota. They relocated to a wheat ranch after some sodbusters sold out, acquiring acres of prairie pothole country.
On a trial hunt at age 13, Bob and his parents set off on a day horse pack trip up and over the spine of the Continental Divide and into the million-acre Bob Marshall Wilderness. They started on the windswept east side, rode the forested. Bob was both awed and inspired by the expedition. For someone raised in Wisconsin, this was a genuine wilderness experience. Wearing an Eskimo-style parka, woolen pants and winter boots, the 5-foot, 58 year old sits in the dark with both windows rolled down.
A cord runs from a tape deck out the passenger-seat window to a furry, wind-guarded microphone. The directional mike is jammed into an embankment of snow-packed ice made by a snowplow.
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The mike is aimed downhill. With the aid of headphones and an amplifier, Landis tunes into the night but hears nothing. About yards below, an elk At that time the long road to Alaska was not paved, and the section between Edmonton and Dawson Creek added Through binoculars, Landis scans the hills rising from the snow-covered flats. Three more cars stop, apparently wolf-watchers. Landis then spots three gray-colored wolves trotting along a ridge more than a half-mile distant.
Because hunting season opened August 1, Landis was able to hunt most of the month before football practice began.
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With his first eight-hour shift complete, Landis takes a seat and removes his boots. Across from. Floors throughout the home are mostly ceramic and cork tile.
Continuing the drive south of Beaver Lake, Landis slows down when he sees a group of photogra-. Lenses are tilted a few degrees upward at a grizzly and two cubs walking up hill through a meadow; Landis decisively aborts his otter mission. Ralph Landis and son booted their way through stubble fields in search of. And almost four decades have passed since Bob and Connie first explored Alaska and Denali National Park and found the cour-. Landis spends Christmas Eve with a few wild friends, a time when few people are thinking about wolves.