By Ken Steadman
What happens when you spend time getting close with wild animals? You really get to know them…on a personal level! Their families, their struggles and their daily lives from birth to death will be learned.
This will be the subject of the Fairfield Glade Lions Club Dec. 3 Travelogue “Wildlife of Yellowstone.” Sandy Mortimer will present her adventure film that follows the lives of three very different residents of Yellowstone National Park: Trumpeter Swans, Coyotes and Elks. The adventure will all take place starting at 7 p.m. in the Palace Theatre; $7 per person tickets are available at the door.
You will follow the stories of these three very different animals that share a common home and meet the multitude of other inhabitants that interact with them. You will learn about their history and possible future including the near extinction of the magnificent Trumpeter Swan in the lower 48 states and how they survived and were rediscovered. Extraordinary sequences include coyote predation on a swan, defense of their nesting territory from intruding swans and the young cygnets attempting to fly.
Dramatic scenes of the life cycle of the coyote during the changing seasons will be experienced. There are rare pictures of a coyote taking fish from an otter, a pack stealing a black bear cub from its mother and pursuing antelope, bighorn sheep and elk. In its role as a predator, the fierce and surprisingly playful coyote that the Indians called “Song Dog” is amazing.
The struggles and triumphs of Yellowstone’s elk are shown in extraordinary scenes, including a young calf being captured by a grizzly, a cow’s defense of her newborn calf against coyotes and large bulls battling for the right to mate.
You will also witness the reintroduction of the wolf, the use of fire and how the present herd affects the vegetation and other animals. Along with playful otters, pesky geese and a collection of other inhabitants, this saga of Yellowstone’s residents will give you an in-depth adventure into the world few humans ever view.