A warning voice has fallen silent: obituary for Gudrun Pfluger

2023-08-21 17:46:00

“The locals say: the wolves will only show themselves to you if they have something to tell them,” she said. A month after meeting the wolves, the biologist received her first cancer diagnosis. The chance of surviving a malignant brain tumor like the one she had for more than a year was ten percent. Gudrun Pfluger managed another 18 years, the memory of the encounter with the wolves was always a source of strength. “I’m happy every day when I wake up and I’m still alive,” she once said. In the meantime she was considered cured, during this time she returned to Austria and gave birth to her son Conrad in 2009.

Despite her illness, Gudrun Pfluger retained her optimism, courage and irrepressible will to live. Companions describe that she fully savored her “given” years and was available for any adventure despite her advanced disability.

The fact that she lost her voice after an unsuccessful operation hit Gudrun Pfluger as passionate speakers hard. Likewise, their increasingly restricted mobility. As an athlete, despite her petite stature, she was an endurance marvel of impressive toughness. She has won the Mountain Running World Championship four times, as well as the World Loppet long-distance cross-country series. Thanks to the then young energy drink manufacturer Red Bull, she was able to pursue her sporting passion. Because instead of bonuses, there were only non-cash prizes at the cross-country marathons – she used a knife block from the Vasalop for years.

The exceptional condition benefited Gudrun Pfluger as a biologist on her hour-long tours on the trail of the wolves. Back in Austria, husky lady Nahanni was something like her personal backup wolf for many years. The dream of returning to the wolves in the Canadian wilderness was no longer to be fulfilled.

Gudrun Pfluger in the SN podcast “The woman in demand”

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