Just yesterday we reported on an elusive wolverine caught on video by a tourist in Yellowstone National Park. Wolverines are rare in that park that a three-year survey turned up only a handful.
It is now reported that Utah wildlife officials are thrilled because they have captured, collared and released a male whose travels will increase knowledge of the animals and their habits.
The wolverine, estimated to be about 4 years old, was making a nuisance of himself, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR). According to the DWR the first to sight the animal were employees of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). They were flying a wildlife protection sortie March 10 when they spotted the wolverine feeding on a dead sheep. The creature is suspected of killing 18 sheep that morning. The DWR was called in, the federal agencies, landowners and the sheep owner co-operated and traps were set.
All parties were elated when the healthy male was captured in a trap. He was sedated, examined and had blood, hair and other samples taken. He was collared and later released in the Uinta mountains on public land. The recent encounters are considered extremely lucky as wolverines have been confirmed in Utah only eight times since 1979. In Yellowstone a recent survey found a similar number in a three-year period.