Nature Notes

Vol. VIII November, 1930 No. 12


The French-Canadian trappers called him Carcajou. They also called the devil by this name when they wished to be particularly insulting. To most Americans he is known as the Wolverene. Of all foul beasts that roam The Mountain, the Wolverene is the foulest, slyest--and one of the rarest. Yet two were reported seen on the little-frequented Kautz Creek emergency fire-trail in July. They maintain a den on this trail near a colony of Marmots which they apparently prey.

The Wolverene is popularly believed to be a cross between a bear and a wolf. His disposition is a cross between these two--with complications. He is a thief and a robber by inheritance and inclination. His favorite pastime is robbing the traps of hunters, eating the fur-bearing victim and leaving only tracks for thanks.

Bears are said to be mischievous, ornery, and destructive, but they are docile lap-dogs compared to a Wolverene. A Wolverene will gnaw his way through two-inch cedar planks to get at a side of bacon and will then upset everything in sight just for the fun of it.

Yet he is a small animal about the size of a small yearling cub bear. But he is of a different build. His legs are short but tremendously powerful. His head is broad and short, muzzle short and pointed. His body is low and squat. Two yellow streaks down his broad back separate to leave an island of black. This is his most noticeable characteristic--outside of his insolent disposition.

Len Longmire, grandson of the first settler of the Park, says that these midnight marauders used to be plentiful in the Park. But for the last ten years none have been reported as actually seen, though evidences of their vandalism have occasionally been found. Left undisturbed, these two survivors on the Kautz Creek trail may again repopulate the district with their progeny.

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