California Wolverine Photo Snapped by Hiker


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California wolverine: The headline opens itself to all sorts of geeky X-Men jokes, though I'll do my best to refrain from such inherent silliness, as it's simply too easy to abuse in this instance. Besides, the actual story is far more interesting than any of the beloved Marvel character's make-believe adventures. Sorry, but it's true.

David Messa, a hiker who was exploring the area near Lake Spaulding in California, managed to snap a photograph of a wolverine, one of the rarest animals in the Sierra. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are approximately 212 of these animals in the United States, which qualifies them for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Messa spotted the wolverine in question as it was attempting to make its way across the ice. As the animal grew closer to where the hiker was standing, he managed to take a photo, which has been confirmed by a wildlife biologist. This is only the fourth documented wolverine sighting in the region in several years.

"He was like a bull in a china shop running across that lake," Messa said of his close encounter with the animal. "He just probably feared nothing. He was kind of galloping; actually fell through the snow two or three times, turned around and came back, and came across in front of me. I was actually able to get a photo."

According to Fox News, the wolverine is the second rarest animal in California. The lone wolf from Oregon is at the top of that list.