Extraordinarily Rare Sighting of a Wolverine in a Butte Cemetery
They are elusive, mysterious, solitary, and just really cool. And they are seldom scene outside of remote wilderness areas.
So when one appears in a residential neighborhood of a city in Montana (albeit a very quiet residential neighborhood), you better have visual proof if you claim to have seen it. Otherwise, people are going to accuse you spending way too much time in a Butte watering hole.
Such was the right-place-at-the-right-time situation for Mike Violette of Missoula, who happened to be paying his respects in a Butte cemetery on Wednesday of this week. He was probably taken aback by what he saw, and figured it can't really be what it looks like from a short distance away. It had to have been a dog, right? Tall badger? Or a cat or skunk that had been working out a lot and had some really massive guns and glutes?
But, sure enough. Mike was watching a wolverine sauntering around the grounds of the cemetery, and shared the experience with the Montana Outdoor Radio Show. While the animal didn't appear overly concerned with Mike's presence, he did not want to get too close for the sake of clearer photos and video. So while grainy, it is obvious we are looking at a wolverine.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tells us that in Montana, wolverines typically occupy vast, remote, high-elevation habitats. An extensive study was done a few winters ago, using 180 cameras across large areas of four western states, Montana included. Of the 180 cameras, 59 detected wolverines. And 22,641 of 439,834 images contained a wolverine, although officials said at many stations, many of the photos were from the same wolverines frequently passing in front of the camera.
Study results don't come as a big surprise. Wolverines are widely distributed and some move long distances across state borders and major highways.
And apparently, into a cemetery now and then.
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