Exciting news out of Utah where biologists have made a “once-in-a-lifetime” find last week, trapping a live wolverine that was suspected in 18 sheep deaths in the area. NBC reports the elusive carnivore has been seen only eight times in the state since 1979, making this a truly rare and remarkable find.
The wolverine was first spotted by U.S. Agriculture Department workers who were flying over Rich County on Thursday conducting livestock protection surveillance. The witnessed the wolverine eating a dead sheep. Traps with sheep meat were immediately set in collaboration with biologists, wildlife personnel and local sheepherders.
The elusive animal was found in a trap midmorning Friday. Biologists sedated the wolverine, a male about 3 or 4 years old, and performed a general exam. It was affixed with a GPS collar to allow wildlife personnel to monitor his movements. Officials had released him on public lands in the Uinta Mountains by Friday evening.
The northern region wildlife manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources, Jim Christensen had this to say about the experience:
“Having a collar on this wolverine will teach us things about wolverines in Utah that would be impossible to learn any other way. Four different wolverine sightings were confirmed in Utah in 2021. Were we seeing the same animal or different animals last year? Having a collar on this animal will help us solve that riddle.”
images from UtahDWR Facebook