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Finland 2019 – The Elusive Wolverine

It is sad. If you google ‘wolverine’, you get a fictional Marvel character, rather than the stunning mustelid that the cartoon character was named after.

Many will have no idea what a wolverine is. Very few will ever see one in their lifetime.

I am one of lucky few to have seen a wolverine in the wild. In fact, I saw wolverine on 3 of the 5 nights I spent in the hides.

The wolverine is a mulstelid; in the same family as our weasel, stoat and otter.  It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids. Wolverines are solitary animals and have a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size. This is because they have been known to take prey much larger than themselves, such as reindeer. On the whole, they are scavengers. Small mammals, hares, foxes, birds and frogs are also a part of its diet, as are berries.

My views of wolverine were quite distant and they were always partly hidden by foliage. Their distinctive gallop is what I always saw first… a ‘lolloping’ gait, that  is very characteristic. The characters I watched were always hidden and seemed quite nervy. They were not the brazen killers that their reputation suggests.

None of my images were very good; heavy crops and hidden by grasses, but I am thrillled nevertheless, to have seen this beautiful and elusive mammal, especially as it is thought that there are only around 250-300 in the whole of Finland!

We were very excited to have also captured them on the trail cameras…. and better views here than I had seen myself from the hides.

These captures were a real highlight for me.

There have been some superb images of wolverine from this site. Take a look at Harry and Kyle’s websites and Instagram to see some of theirs.


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