The following involves the sighting of a somewhat elusive Arctic animal, the wolverine. The oddest aspect of this sighting is that it was not sited in the Arctic, but in the Jacques Cartier Provincial Park, north of the city of Quebec, Quebec Province, Canada.
In September of 2000 my family visited the Jacque Cartier Provincial Park in the beautiful and pristine Laurentian Forest. Our goal was to spot some moose. We did not see a moose (although we found moose hoof prints and moose…er…droppings), but we saw several beaver, and perhaps a wolf in the distance.
As dusk neared, we were driving south along the Jacques Cartier River, when in front of us, an animal crossed the road. We slowly approached, first believing this to be a bear or bear cub. We were slightly concerned as visitors to the park were very sparse and we had not crossed the path of another individual for hours, and did not want to come between a bear cub and its angry mother. As we closed and the animal began slowly climbing the hill/mountain side we got within about 20 feet of it.
In spite of being nature enthusiasts, no one in our family was able to identify the animal. It was almost entirely black with long fur. There were several areas of lighter fur on its back and bushy tail. The claws, were long and curved like a bears, but the head was much smaller. It was about 3 and a half feet long. The animal moved slowly bearly noticing our presence. It looked a bit bedraggled.
We were mystified. We explained what we saw, and no one else could determine what it was either, with some folks suggesting it was a large porcupine. The mystery was solved recently. On television we saw the animal. We all immediately knew what we had seen, and no one had any doubts. The announcer even explained about its bear-like claws, and that adults were about three and half feet long. It was a wolverine! Apparently sightings are rare as the naturalist on TV explained that in several years of tracking them, he has only seen a few in the wild. Also, the maps indicated the locations of these animals' habitat and the area of Quebec where the park is located was not included! It was much too south an east!
We feel extremely lucky to have seen such a rare animal
in its natural surroundings.