SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A rare wolverine sighting has been reported at Utah’s Antelope Island State Park.
Biologists with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources say they feel confident a video showing an animal rushing through the park, which you can watch above, is, in fact, a wolverine.
Tuesday night, DWR received a report of a wolverine spotting on the northwest end of the park near the Bridger Bay Campground.
Additional photos, as well as the above video, were posted to social media.
Despite their best efforts Wednesday morning, DWR biologists say they were unable to locate the animal or any possible tracks at Antelope Island.
Wolverines, though typically found in high mountain areas, are rare for Utah. So rare, in fact, that wildlife officials say it’s hard to tell how many are currently in the state.
A single wolverine can have a home range as large as 350 square miles, according to DWR.
“Wolverines are very rare to see because they are largely nocturnal, and they travel quickly, typically not staying in one area long enough to be found or seen,” DWR Wildlife Conservation Biologist Adam Brewerton says. “We believe this wolverine sighted on Antelope Island is just passing through since Antelope Island does not have suitable habitat. It is always exciting to hear of wolverine sightings in the state and especially when we have video evidence.”
While wolverines are rare in Utah, DWR says it receives several reported sightings each year, often from the High Uintas. But, because wolverines are an elusive animal, most reports go unconfirmed.
Wolverines typically scavenge carcasses and are known to hunt many different kinds of animals, ranging from squirrels to birds to larger animals in deep snow. The animal is not listed as threatened or endangered, but are protected by Utah state law.
The most recent confirmed sighting in Utah was a female wolverine carcass located by the Department of Transportation after it was struck and killed by a vehicle west of Laketown near Bear Lake.
Before that, there were two spottings in 2014 – tracks found near Dutch John in December and a wolverine captured in a photo at a camera bait station in the Uinta Mountains in February.
The first reported sighting confirmed was in 1979 when a wolverine was hit and killed on U.S. Highway 40 east of Vernal.
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