A tourist in Yellowstone National Park took a once-in-a-lifetime video by capturing a wolverine on film. This is a feat experienced naturalists say is very rare. The incident occurred March 5 when Carl Kemp took video of the animal. The animal was encountered between Lamar Valley and Cooke City. Wolverines are considered rare throughout their range and only 7 were documented during a three-year research study in the park.
Wolverines are relatives of weasels and have a fierce disposition. The animals weigh up to 30 pounds and reach about four feet in length. Wolverines are opportunists feeding on mice, birds, eggs, beaver, squirrels and marmots. But wolverines also eat whitebark pine nuts. When they are one the menu they are preyed on by mountain lions, wolves and bears. Their low birth rate and high infant mortality rate keep their populations low.
In the rest of the world they are found across most of the northern hemisphere including Scandinavia, Alaska, Eurasia and Mongolia. The Wolverine Foundation works to support their populations worldwide.
Wolverines have been the mascots of the University of Michigan since 1861, when students and alumni started referring to themselves as wolverines.
Yellowstone Park is often credited as the world’s first national park and the National Park Service works to keep the park’s wildlife viable. The park has been in the news because wolves leaving the park have been killed and the bison population is being culled.