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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Hail, to the critters valiant!

Wolverine State has its first confirmed wolverine resident since the 19th Century.
The location is nothing short of unbelievable--not in the Upper Peninsula, but the Thumb:

While a thrill for Karr and other wildlife officials, the sighting near the Thumb community of Ubly creates a mystery: How did the wolverine get there?

"It's up there with having a caribou or a polar bear turn up in the Thumb," DNR spokesman Brad Wurfel said Wednesday. "It's unprecedented."

It remains a question whether the animals have called Michigan home since the 19th century, even though the state has the unofficial Wolverine nickname and University of Michigan's athletic program uses the moniker.

Raymond Rustem, supervisor of the natural heritage unit in the DNR's Wildlife Division, said the wolverine in Huron County is far from what would be considered its nearest natural home of northern Canada. He said it could have traveled to the state, been released or escaped from captivity.

"It's a total surprise," Rustem said. "What it means, who knows? When you take a look at the wolverine, there's always been this debate about whether wolverines ever were a part of Michigan's recent past. Some evidence shows that, some says no."


Helpful Michigander Tip: Wolverines make dicey pets.

That is all.

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