Wolverines rarely seen in wild

There are probably more stories about the wolverine than any other mammal in America.
It is supposed to have amazing strength, be extremely intelligent, and have a very ugly disposition.
Whether these stories are true or not, no one really knows. The wolverine is the shadow in the deep woods, the tracks in the morning, and the ransacked trapper’s cabin.
The wolverine is really a weasel—the largest member of the weasel family. It is a good size, maybe up to 40 pounds, with an overall body length of about three-and-a-half feet.
However, its strength and bad temper are, in proportion, much larger than its body. There are stories of these animals driving off wolves, cougars, and even at times the great bear.
They also have been known to kill caribou and even moose, although their normal meat diet is of rabbits and other small game.
Trappers’ stories of wolverine damage are legend. They have been known to follow a trapper’s route, taking the trapped animals and also the bait. They have been known to enter cabins and destroy or defile almost anything in it.
There are stories of wolverines getting into food caches—even those thought to be “wolverine-proof.”
In the early days, the wolverine ranged over almost every part of Canada. It now has been eliminated from all of the Maritimes, much of Quebec and Ontario, and the lower parts of the Prairies.
But it was never very abundant anywhere, and is now very unlikely to be found anywhere below Red Lake or James Bay.
In fact, the entire population in Ontario is estimated at between 70 and 100 animals. Only two or three are trapped each year, mostly by accident.
The general colour of the wolverine is very dark brown, although a light-coloured line runs down each side from the neck to the base of the tail.
The fur is very thick, often used by the northern natives as trim around parkas. The fur itself has little commercial value, however.
The wolverine is really an omnivorous animal. In the summer, its major diet is berries, nuts, and so on. In the winter, its main food seems to be carrion.
It is quite capable of driving other carnivores from a kill, and making use of the dead prey itself.
Being a weasel, the wolverine has those famous scent glands (not as bad as the skunk, but apparently still pretty terrible). It “marks” its food with this awful scent, too, so a dead moose can lose all of its attractiveness to other animals.
Flour, bacon, etc. in a cabin can be rendered totally unfit for human use forever.
The wolverine is the Carcajou in French Canadian, and the Glutton in Europe. Its scientific name is Gulo gulo—and even this refers to its legendary tremendous appetite.
Hated by trappers, our knowledge gleaned almost entirely from chance encounters, the wolverine is an animal you are not likely to ever see in the wild.

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