*This is a developing story
A black goldendoodle that became lost in Yellowstone National Park on June 22 was captured Thursday morning and reunited with her owners.
An Idaho-based volunteer animal rescue group, Ladies and The Trap, apparently played a key role in helping the owners retrieve the female dog, named Delta.
At the time of this post, the group had not responded to inquiries by For The Win Outdoors.
A spokesman for Yellowstone National Park, however, confirmed that Delta, who ran off at Artists Paintpots near Norris Geyser Basin, “was recovered by her owners at the parking lot where she took off 16 days ago.”
Mike Matsis, Delta’s owner, also has not responded to inquiries.
Delta’s popularity soared on Yellowstone-themed social media pages while she was loose in a park famous for its wild and sometimes ferocious critters, such as wolves, coyotes, and bears.
She has been skittish since escaping her owners – it’s still not clear how that happened – and would not respond to their calls or efforts by park rangers to lure her to within capture range.
People expressed anger at Delta’s owners for allowing her to get loose in a park that requires pet owners to be in physical control of their animals at all times.
At the same time, people rooted for Delta’s safety and were saddened over the July 4 holiday weekend to learn that three days had passed without a Delta sighting.
The park spokesman, who did not offer much in the way of details, hoped the following guidelines would help tourists prevent becoming involved in similar episodes:
Pets may only accompany people in developed areas and must remain within 100 feet of roads, parking areas and campgrounds.
Pets must be physically controlled at all times: they must be in a car, in a crate, or on a leash no more than six feet long.
Pets are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry or in thermal areas.
Pets may not be left unattended or tied to an object.
Pets may not be left in a situation where food, water, shade, ventilation, and other basic needs are inadequate. Pets may remain in vehicles for short periods of time, but we recommend that someone stay behind to personally ensure their well-being.
Owners must bag and dispose of pet waste.