Researchers share first-ever collar camera footage from wild wolf

The Voyageurs Wolf Project called it "fascinating," showing that wolves in northern Minnesota clearly know how to hunt fish.
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Researchers in northern Minnesota have released what they believe is the first-ever camera collar footage from a wild wolf. 

The Voyageurs Wolf Project released the video on social media Wednesday (watch it below), featuring the wolf chewing on a deer leg bone and eating white suckers fish it caught in the river. 

"What is particularly fascinating is that this wolf (V089, a lone wolf) knew how to hunt and catch fish," the Voyageurs Wolf Project tweeted. "He can be seen eating three different fish, which were all killed and consumed at the same spot along the Ash River."

Researchers noted the wolf spent about a week in this spot, so the wolf likely caught more than three fish. (The collar only took videos for 30 seconds at the beginning of every hour of daylight, so they only got 7 minutes of footage each day.)

In 2018, the Voyageurs Wolf Project released the first-ever footage showing wolves hunting freshwater fish. Researchers noted that prior to this collar video, they'd only documented wolves from a single pack, called the Bowman Bay Pack, hunting and killing fish at the same small creek. 

"This footage clearly demonstrates that other wolves in our area know how to hunt fish and they do so in different areas," researchers tweeted

Here's what the camera looks like on the wolf, with researchers noting in tweets that it didn't seem to bother the animal. The camera and collar were programmed to fall off after a few weeks, which did so "without a hitch," researchers said. 

The Voyageurs Wolf Project has also documented wolves eating blueberries, which they finally captured in 2020 after years of trying. 

FOX 9 notes the collar camera captured video for 42 consecutive days, totaling more than four hours of video.

According to comments on the Voyageurs Wolf Project Facebook page, researchers plan to release additional footage from the camera collar and will deploy additional camera collars in the coming months. 

Members of the Voyageurs Wolf Project study the behavior of wolves in Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota.

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