Episode 9: The Last Adirondack Wolf?

In this episode, we talk about wolves and their long and troubled relationship with people. Native to the region and once commonly found within the Blue Line, wolves disappeared by the 1900s due to unrestricted hunting and loss of forests. You will find out the full backstory behind the supposed last wolf in the Adirondacks.

Today, keep an eye out. Scientists have recently found wolves in the Adirondacks again, and the animals may just make a comeback here.

Hunters were paid bounties for wolves and other unwanted animals by the state. See this: Statement of bounties paid out of the treasury of the state of New York from 1813 to the 18th January 1822

Header Image: Reuben Cary and the Last Adirondack Wolf, c. 1910 (P042057)

James Blandford, “Honest John” Plumley, and the last wolf, c. 1895 (P041968)

‘’Evicted Tenants’ of the Adirondacks”, Harper’s Weekly, Vol. XXIX, No. 1471 (1977.196.0005)

Connecting To Curriculum

Read-aloud – Students can follow along while listening. Download a copy of the transcript here.

Vocabulary – Explore new words. Students listen to high-level vocabulary in context. Click here for the vocabulary page.

Research & Writing. Expand students’ exploration of wolves in fiction and fact (NYS Grade 3 ELA, Module 3B). Click here to download a worksheet to help students start their own list of descriptive words for antagonists and protagonists.


Higher grade level students may want to explore some topics in more depth.

  1. Gray wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in 1995. A few years later, reintroduction was proposed for the Adirondack region. Research the topic and discuss the successes and challenges of these conservation strategies. Is reintroduction of an extirpated species always a good idea?
  2. Compare modern and historical nonfiction writing. In this episode we mention that even resources that were regarded as scientific often described animals (particularly wolves) with words that might influence a reader’s opinion of those creatures. Google Books has some natural history texts from the 1800s. Try The Natural History of Animals by Sanborn Tenney and Abby A. Tenney (1895) as a good example of a historical text.