Wild Wolverine Confirmed in Michigan

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posted on Feb, 27 2004 @ 11:23 AM
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Spartan fans, take heart. At least one wolverine really does live in Michigan, but it certainly doesn’t belong here. Adding intrigue to a 200-year-old mystery, a state Department of Natural Resources biologist took photos Tuesday of a wolverine in a field near Ubly in Huron County — the first confirmed wild sighting of the fierce mammal in the Wolverine State’s history. It’s still on the loose. Experts doubt Michigan is home to others, but don’t know how one could have wandered some 1,000 miles from its habitat in northern Ontario. “This is tantamount to a polar bear walking around the Thumb. It doesn’t make any sense,” said Brad Wurfel, DNR spokesman. Theories abound. The wolverine could have come on a truck carrying Canadian waste to a nearby landfill. Critters also are known to wander: In recent years, an Upper Peninsula wolf was found in Missouri. More likely, the wolverine is an exotic pet that got loose, said Michelle Seldon, associate curator of mammals for the Detroit Zoo. The discovery should fuel debate about whether wolverines ever lived in Michigan.

Their bones have been found near fur-trading forts, but scientists don’t think wolverines have lived here since the glaciers receded, said Raymond Rustem of the DNR. “Students tell me, you know, there never were any wolverines in Michigan,” said David Adelstein, who teaches social studies at Highland Middle School in Highland. “I tell them there were never any Spartans here, either.”

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