A Wisconsin couple believed missing nearly a week in Yellowstone National Park can thank a Wyoming rancher on a snowmobile for being found alive and well on Monday morning.
The Park County, Wyo., Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Mark and Kristine Wathke, of Cornell, Wisc., were cold and hungry but otherwise in good health when located on the Beartooth Highway (US-212) near Long Lake, just outside the park boundaries.
The couple had last been seen leaving the northeast entrance of the park 4 p.m. last Tuesday. The sheriff’s office said their car had become stuck in heavy snow.
The rancher, who was not identified, heard about the missing couple on the radio news and decided to search for them. He located the car about 8:30 a.m.
The sheriff’s office said the couple had plenty of gas in the tank and were able to stay warm by starting the engine periodically and running the heater. They also had a supply of water and a limited amount of food, but no cellphone service.
The Beartooth Highway has been closed since mid-September due to weather.
It was not immediately clear why the couple apparently failed to see, or comply with road closures notices the sheriff’s office said had been posted.