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Wolverines

 

wolverine

Wolverines are shy, mysterious mammals. Check out these fun facts about them!

  1. Where: Wolverines are found not only in North America, but also in parts of northern and eastern Europe, Russia, and Asia. 
  2. What: Wolverines are the largest land-dwelling members of the weasel family, which includes skunks, otters, sea otters, black-footed ferrets, badgers, and weasels. 
  3. Behavior: Scientists have had a hard time studying wild wolverines because these animals are shy, hard to find, and roam over large, out-of-the-way wilderness areas.
  4. Travelers: Wolverines may travel up to 40 miles a day. And tall mountains don't stop them, even in the middle of winter. They don't necessarily take the easiest routes, such as passes, through a mountain. Instead, they often go in a straight line, up and over the tall peaks.
  5. Tough: Wolverines are known for their toughness: Rosa, a wolverine who had been raised by people, got caught in a leg-trap. She picked the trap up in her mouth and traveled on three legs through the woods. Three weeks later, weak and suffering, she showed up at the doorstep of the family who had raised her. They freed her and helped her recover.
  6. Affectionate: Scientists have noticed how friendly wolverines can be with each other: When they meet a "friend"--that is, a relative or other wolverine they know--they may wrestle a bit, chuckle in greeting, even stroke each other with their paws.
  7. Trouble ahead? Scientists worry about the future of wolverines. These animals need large areas of wilderness to survive. And as people move into what was once wilderness, the wolverine's way of life is threatened. But some scientists are working hard to learn how to protect these truly wild animals.
  8. Find out more: To get more information about wolverines, visit the Wolverine Foundation's web site www.wolverinefoundation.org

Upper Winner Gorge Trail

 

Illustration by Michael Slack

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