Backcountry skier captures rare video of wolverine tearing across the snow in Wyoming at ‘impossible’ speed: Creature is only one of 15 in the wild, says wildlife supervisor


A backcountry skier was excited to spot a Wyoming wolverine near the Montana state line.

Nick Gaddy caught a wolverine on video sprinting on an alpine snowfield near Cooke City, Montana, on December 18.

It was the skier’s second wolverine he’d ever seen and the first one he captured on Instagram.

Wolverines were recently added to an endangered species list, and according to non-game wildlife supervisor Zach Walker, who told Cowboy State Daily there may only be ’15 or so’ wolverines in Wyoming.

‘I did feel bad disturbing it,’ Gaddy wrote in the video caption about his encounter with the creature.

Nick Gaddy caught a wolverine on video sprinting on an alpine snowfield near Cooke City, Montana, on December 18 and posted it on Instagram.

Wolverines are incredibly rare animals in the US there are fewer than 400 of them left in the country.

The small animals that are members of the weasel family are typically spotted in Alaska or Canada and have habitats in the Rocky and Cascade mountains.

It is unclear what the wolverine was exactly doing on the hill, but if it was hunting for food, Gaddy was wise to stay far behind it since the animals can get vicious.

Wolverines prefer to live in large habitats with high elevation, which could be one of the reasons why Gaddy found the animal while on a mountain.

According to non-game wildlife supervisor Zach Walker via Cowboy State Daily, there may only be ’15 or so’ wolverines in Wyoming

‘One of the main characteristics of the animal I noticed in both of my wolverine encounters is how amazingly fast they are,’ Gaddy stated.

He saw an example of this while backcountry skiing with his girlfriend in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains during winter 2020.

Gaddy said: ‘While we were standing there, we heard a rock fall, and I started looking for a mountain goat.’

‘I just assumed there was a mountain goat running around.’

The pair spotted the wolverine near them, but the moment was too fast for Gaddy to get a photo or video of the animal.

Gaddy was shocked to see the wolverine after he saw the movement of a small animal 50 to 70 feet away from him.

‘I kind of had this moment when I stood there, jaw on the ground. And then I realized I had time to get to my phone,’ Gaddy said.

He also repeatedly said ‘Gulo’ throughout the video, a French or Spanish term for glutton.

Instagram users who’ve heard of the wolverine spotted have been excited for Gaddy and surprised at how fast wolverines are on mountains.

‘I had no idea they could run that fast up a mountain in the snow – incredible!,’ one user wrote.

Others brought up how lucky Gaddy is for spotting one since they are incredibly rare in the US.

Well-known adventure sports photographer Christian Pondella even left a comment on the video, writing that the wolverine sighting was ‘rad.’

Gaddy told other skiers on the slope about the wolverine, to which they were ‘absolutely amazed.’

He also spotted the wolverine again from a longer distance after skiing down the slope, but did not approach it.

‘We just kind of looked at each other for a while, and then he was gone,’ he said.

Once the skier kept going, he spotted wolverine tracks near ski tracks and realized the musky smell he caught prior to seeing the wolverine was the animal.

‘It’s pretty clear that he had come up behind me and just followed the track,’ Gaddy said.

Gaddy appreciated both Wolverine sighting from this year and 2020, but said that it was just ‘a matter of being at the right place at the right time.’

This article by Emma Saletta was first published by The Daily Mail on 21 December 2023. Lead Image: According to non-game wildlife supervisor Zach Walker via Cowboy State Daily, there may only be ’15 or so’ wolverines in Wyoming.

What you can do

Help to save wildlife by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute.



payment





Source link

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*