KEY POINTS

  • Mikesell Clegg saw a pack of wolves strolling down the highway during her drive to work
  • She took a video of the encounter and shared it on Facebook
  • The video has gone viral and attracted hundreds of comments

A 26-year-old woman's drive to work on Saturday morning turned out to be a unique experience when she witnessed a pack of wolves walking on a snowy Idaho highway.

Mikesell Clegg was driving on Idaho 75 between Stanley and Sun Valley when she saw a cluster of animals strolling down the road. "I thought it was a herd of elk because that’s a little more common," Clegg told Idaho Statesman.

But, to her surprise, she realized that it was a pack of wolves. She immediately took out her phone and started taking a video of the animals. The footage, which she later posted on Facebook, has gone viral.

"They were just in the middle of the road and walking together as a pack. I assume that because it had just snowed and the roads were probably a little easier to travel because they were plowed," Clegg explained.

In the video, one could see the wolves scattering on the road as Clegg's vehicle approaches. Some of them duck through the fences, taking off across the snowy landscape.

"I don't think many people in their lives can say that they've seen a pack of wolves. They are beautiful animals, so it was really a special experience," Clegg said, calling it a "once-in-a-lifetime moment."

Clegg saw a total of nine wolves, all of which are visible in the 23-second video. Her post has got more than 800 shares on Facebook and tens of thousands of views as of writing.

There have also been hundreds of comments on the video, many of them discussing trapping or killing wolves.

Wolves aren't uncommon in Custer or Blaine counties, but they're most active at night and typically avoid humans. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game lets hunters and trappers can kill up to 15 wolves per year with proper tags. The state has recently amended its wolf hunting season to allow year-round hunting in some hunting units, according to a report from Big Country News.

In January 2020, the director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game estimated the number of wolves in Idaho at 1,000. The department said the wolf population peaked early in the summer of 2019 at about 1,500, following the birth of pups. The figure was based on about 13 million photos from nearly 700 remote cameras combined with known wolf mortality numbers.

Wolves
Representative images AFP / Kena Betancur
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