As a young girl, Beckie Elgin was the daughter of a zoo director in Des Moines, Iowa. That's where she first encountered wolves. As she studied them, she became fascinated by their secretive and wild nature. She also knew they were not meant to be pets and needed to be free to roam in the wild. As an adult, she has published numerous articles about wolves and has followed their re-introduction into Oregon.
Elgin, who lives near Medford, has just published a book about Oregon's most famous wolf, OR-7, the wolf that traveled from Northeast to Southwest Oregon into Northern California then back to Oregon in search of a mate. Supported by numerous pictures and illustrations, she tells the story of his 4,000 mile journey before meeting his mate, who also journeyed from a neighboring pack in Northeast Oregon before meeting OR-7 in Southern Oregon.
It took three years for the radio collared wolf—appropriately named "Journey"—to meet his mate. Together they formed what is now called the Rogue pack, named after the upper Rogue River region where they wander.
While the book is written for middle school-age readers, it's an educational book that can be read by anyone of any age. It follows the early reintroduction of wolves into Oregon and discusses the many challenges that are faced by wildlife experts, ranchers and others in seeking a natural balance that wolves bring to the ecosystem.
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell's and other locations.