Yellowstone wolf killed by trapper fondly remembered by researcher

A researcher who studies wolves in Yellowstone National Park on Sunday posted a video tribute to one of her favorite wolves a year after the animal was killed outside of the park by a trapper.

The female wolf was cataloged by park researchers as 1229F.

Taylor Rabe of the Yellowstone Wolf Project expressed her feelings via Instagram:

“Yesterday was one whole year without 1229F running around the park causing trouble – my favorite girl. She was spunky, charismatic, and moved to the beat of her own drum. She was always playing with the puppies and prancing around all over Lamar Valley.

“I grew very fond of her over the years, and loved trying to pick her out of the pack (though it wasn’t very hard). She was so unique, and I will cherish the moments I had with her.”

Yellowstone has lost several wolves that ventured outside the park during recent hunting and trapping seasons.

Rabe’s tribute comes nearly three weeks after the end of the most recent season in Wolf Management Unit 313, immediately north of the park in Montana, because an established quota of six wolves had been reached.

A park spokeswoman confirmed to FTW Outdoors that all six wolves “belonged to packs that spend the majority of their lives inside Yellowstone National Park and have territories largely within the park.”

One was a male collared research wolf from the Mollie’s Pack.

Rabe’s tribute to wolf 1229F continued:

“She helped me fall in love with wolves and wolf watching. I think one of the main reasons I was so drawn to her was because I could see myself in her and she always, always made me smile. That’s the beauty of watching wolves in Yellowstone – you can’t help but fall in love with them and following along with their stories, no matter how they may end.

“Unfortunately, she was trapped and shot last winter, and man do I miss seeing her every day in the field. Her absence is truly felt – but she made my time here so fun. Thanks for the memories girl, may I think of you always.”

–Image courtesy of Taylor Rabe

Story originally appeared on For The Win