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Wolverine picture (Gulo luscus)

Wolverine picture (Gulo luscus)The wolverine, or carcajou of the Canadian voyageurs, is a circumpolar species belonging to the northern forested areas of both continents.

In North America it formerly ranged from the northern limit of trees south to New England and New York, and down the Rocky Mountains to Colorado, and down the Sierra Nevada to near Mount Whitney, California.

It is a low, squat, heavy-bodied animal, with strong legs and feet armed with sharp claws, and is the largest and most formidable of the weasel family.

The wolverine is extraordinarily powerful and possesses what at times appears to be a diabolical cunning and persistence. It frequently trails trappers along their trap lines, eating or destroying their catches and at times hiding their traps.

It is a tireless wanderer, and the hunter or traveler in the northern wilds always has this marauder in mind and is put to the limit of his wits to provide caches for his provisions or other supplies which it can not despoil.

What it can not eat it is likely to carry away and hide. A wolverine has often h1pen known to expend a surprising amount of labor in apparently deliberate mischief, even carrying numerous articles away from camps and hiding them in different places.

It sometimes trails a traveler for many miles through winter snow, always out of sight, but alert to take advantage of any carelessness in leaving game or other food unguarded.

Mingled with these mischievous traits the wolverine possesses a savage ferocity combined with a muscular power which renders it a dreaded foe of all but the largest animals of its domain. When guarding her young, the female is no mean foe, even for a man.

As a consequence of its mental and physical character, the wolverine, more than any other animal of the north, has impressed itself on the imagination of both native and white hunters and travelers. A vast amount of folklore has grown up about it and both Indians and Eskimos make offerings to propitiate its malignant spirit.

The Alaskan Eskimos trimed the hoods of their fur garments with a strip of wolverine fur, and Eskimo hunters wear belts and hunting bags made of the skin of the legs and head, that they may acquire some of the power of the animal from which these came.

The value of the handsome brown fur of the wolverine, as well as the enmity the animal earns among hunters and trappers, had resulted in its being so persistently hunted that it has become extinct over much of its former territory, and wherever still found it is much reduced in numbers.