The wolverine is an incredibly elusive critter.
Which is why I counted myself lucky last weekend for spotting one while while hiking in Banff National Park with a friend.
It was in this rock-strewn mountain pass, photographed below, where we stopped for lunch. I clapped and we heard a squeal followed by the distinct movements of the so-called “skunk bear” ambling upslope. It stopped to size us up. Another clap prompted another squeal and more leaping atop the rocks before the critter vanished. Too far away for a decent photo, but binoculars confirmed what we saw.
This is also precisely where one would expect to stumble across a wolverine.
But another Alberta resident was far more fortunate with a sighting – and video – taken in a much more unlikely place.
Joanne Williams shared the encounter with Wolverine Watch as part of the group’s ongoing efforts to keep track of the wolverine. That video, which was taken at 6 am on June 8, while driving through a Lethbridge, Alberta subdivision.
Lethbridge, located about 220 kilometres southeast of Calgary, is not really prime wolverine terrain, but wolverines have popped up in odd places before.
“Wolverines have an amazing ability to move and disperse, through all types of landscapes…even out of their typical subalpine/alpine habitats here in the Rockies to the prairies – where they once roamed,” the group noted. “Typically young males are the ones that end up in these unlikely places, like this Windy City visitor.”
(For the record, Lethbridge, while not quite Chicago, is incredibly windy.)