The Yellowstone National Park is home to just six wolverines, according to estimates. It is a solitary, heavily built mammal from the weasel family.
On March 5, park visitor Carl Kemp was taking a tour of the first national park in the world when he came across a wolverine standing in the middle of the road.
While Kemp and his daughter Maya watched, the fuzzy animal ran back and forth in the snow.
The elusive animal was located in the northeastern part of the park, between Lamar Valley and Cooke City, by tour guide MacNeil Lyons of Yellowstone Insight tours.
He has worked at Yellowstone for more than 20 years in a variety of positions, but this is the first time he has seen a wolverine up close in the park.
He remarked, “It was incredible that this creature was right in front of us.
The wolverine is not closely related to wolves, despite its name. According to the US Department of the Interior, it is actually a member of the weasel family, which also includes badgers, ferrets, and otters.
Wolverines have a love-hate relationship with wolves despite the fact that they are unrelated to them. According to Rebecca Watters, executive director of The Wolverine Foundation, wolves sometimes leave behind animal carcasses that wolverines eat.
However, she continued, wolves won’t think twice about killing the mammals if they come into direct conflict with them.
According to Watters, wolverines prefer colder climates with August highs of only 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).