A male wolf pup was walking on Warm Springs Road northwest of Ketchum in the Smoky Mountains Friday when a car came along.
The out-of-town campers thought the pup might be someone's pet dog and picked it up and took it to a local vet.
Thus began the latest wolf media frenzy in Idaho.
Twitter was viral with wolf puppy stories and the Defenders of Wildlife story is getting much of the attention. The only story getting more attention was a group of Pocatello students claiming to have seen Bigfoot.
A technician at the vet’s office, recognizing the pup as a wolf, called Patrick Graham of Defenders of Wildlife. She contacted the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and together they agreed to try to find the wolf’s parents.
If it is wild, the parents might have been moving it from a den to a rendezvous site.
The traffic might have scared the pack back into the woods. For Fish and Game, it's an old story. People pick up wild babies all the time.
“They didn’t know that the pack would have been right there,” said Mike Keckler, Fish and Game communications chief.
After a weekend search, Fish and Game officials never were confident they were near a pack to leave the pup. They took the wolf pup to Zoo Boise, where he is getting care.
Zoo officials’ reported Thursday that the male pup is eating and his health improving.
DNA tests are underway but will take about two weeks to determine if it is a wild wolf or hybrid. Meanwhile Zoo officials are looking around for a future zoo home for the little guy.
At least this time the story doesn’t feed the polarizing narrative of wolves versus hunters or wolves versus ranchers. No one is talking about shoot, shovel and shut up.
Here is a video from Defenders of Wildlife