(RightWing.org) – Years ago, a prospector known only as “John” was looking for gold near Alaska’s Coho Creek, located on the south side of Caprino Island, when he encountered an Alaskan timber wolf caught in a metal trap. The animal, desperate and afraid, wouldn’t let the man get close enough to help, but he was determined to save her life.
John noticed the wolf was female and showed signs of nursing. Understanding a mother wolf wouldn’t stray too far from her cubs, he searched the area. The prospector found the wolf’s tracks in the snow and followed them to a den about a half mile away. There, he discovered four young cubs. He carefully secured them in his burlap bag and carried them back to the injured wolf. As soon as he released the pups, they hurried to their mother and began suckling.
The adult wolf still didn’t trust the man, so with the hopes of bridging their worlds with a food offering, John searched the area and found a deer carcass. He built a shelter nearby for the night and woke the next morning to the pups licking him. The prospector split his time that day between searching for gold, feeding the wolf strips of venison, and playing with her cubs.
After five days of working to earn the wolf’s trust, John saw a tail wag. The following day, the trapped animal allowed him close enough to release her ensnared leg. But instead of gathering her cubs and immediately running off, the mama wolf gratefully licked the man’s hands and motioned for him to follow her. She led him up Kupreanof mountain to a meadow, where a pack of wolves greeted her. John watched from a distance while the animals howled together, apparently celebrating their reunion.
Four years later, returning to the same forest, John’s gut told him to return to the meadow where he’d witnessed the wolf family. He let out a howl, and someone howled back. Something stirred nearby, and the prospector realized the wolf he’d saved years ago was watching him. She came up to him, wagging her tail, and disappeared once again into the forest. John’s story just goes to show how impactful one selfless act can be — and how love and appreciation can break even the greatest of barriers.
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