A park ranger removed a cow elk carcass from a school’s football field last week after wolves moved in from neighboring Yellowstone National Park and devoured the ungulate. According to reporting in the Billing Gazette, the principal of the small school in Gardiner, Montana posted a photo of the elk’s remains on Facebook with information about the incident. The picture shows the wolf-killed cow it with its hide torn away and most of its innards and meat scavenged.

A group of wolves known as the the “8-Mile Pack” was responsible for the kill, which occurred sometime in the middle of the night before the elk was discovered in the early morning hours of April 18. According to, the 8-Mile Pack originated in southwest Montana near the Tom Miner Basin and existed on the fringes of Yellowstone until 2011 when the canines moved into the park more permanently.

A park spokesperson told the Billing Gazette that the wolves “exhibited natural wary and wild wolf behavior by traveling quickly away from the carcass, which was mostly consumed, and returned to the park.”

The school has about 60 students, from kindergarteners up to high school-aged. The football field borders the nation’s first National Park on two sides and sits less than yards from the National Park Service boundary.

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“It is common for wildlife to move through and adjacent to the Gardiner community given its location at the doorstep of a national park,” said Linda Veress, a Yellowstone public affairs officer, told the Billing Gazette. “It’s common for elk, bison and pronghorn to be at the school grounds, less so bears and wolves. It is very rare that we document wolves within the town’s developed footprint over the last 28 years. Very seldom, if ever, does park staff need to deal with bears and bison on school grounds.”