A pack with a purpose, not without some notoriety, left a disturbing scene on a Montana high school football field.

According to the principal at the Gardiner School's K-12 complex, who relayed the incident to the Billings Gazette,  a cow elk carcass was removed by a park ranger from the school’s football field late last week, a victim of a pack of wolves that came in from neighboring Yellowstone National Park and devoured it. The principal posted a photo on social media showing the cow with its hide torn away. Most of its innards and meat were gone. The football field borders the park. The photo was shared on Gardiner School's Facebook page, that can be viewed here. Please be advised of its graphic content.


Originating in southwest Montana, the wolf pack has a history in and just outside of Yellowstone, according to the website wolftracker.org. The pack consist of approximately 12 wolves. Although now situated more permanently within the park's boundaries, it's obvious they didn't need to travel far for a what was likely an easy meal.

Given its location, authorities point out that it's pretty common for wildlife to move through  Gardiner. Elk, bison and antelope are often seen on school grounds. Fortunately, bear and wolf sightings are far less of an occurrence.

The wolves certainly lived up to their reputation of being sly and cunning. A Yellowstone Park spokesperson told the Billings Gazette that the pack showed "natural wary and wild wolf behavior" by traveling quickly away from the carcass once it was mostly consumed, and then returned to the park.

Montana's 'Exotic Noncontrolled Species'

Here's a sample of some of the exotic animals that the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks consider "noncontrolled species" meaning they aren't prohibited unless it falls under Montana or Federal law. For more information about these species and other "exotic noncontrolled species" refer to the guidance from Montana Fish Wildlife, and Parks.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

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