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More wolves in Yellowstone park

The wolf population is up. That’s what a yearly study shows in Yellowstone National Park.

This year’s wolf population is estimated to be around 120, up from last year’s 97.

Officials were in the park Monday, monitoring the wolves. They are monitored multiple ways, including aerial and collar monitoring. One of the primary objectives of this study is the wolves’ impact on the elk population.

“We used to have roughly 20,000 elk 15 years ago and now we have roughly 5,000 to 6,000 elk. Wolves have played a role in the decline, but they’re not the only factor in the decline. We’ve been working on that and we’re close to an answer, but we don’t think it’s over 50 percent, in fact it’s well below 50 percent,” said Douglas Smith with the study.

This comprehensive 30-day study will end Thursday. The next one will take place in the early spring.

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