For the first time in more than 100 years, wolverines have returned to Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state, the National Park Service announced Thursday.
The National Park Service and scientists with the conservation organization Cascades Carnivore Project spotted the female wolverine and her two offspring, also called kits.
“It’s really, really exciting,” Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins said.
“It tells us something about the condition of the park — that when we have such large-ranging carnivores present on the landscape that we’re doing a good job of managing our wilderness,” Jenkins said.
Recent studies have been trying to map the Wolverine way and learning more about the Wolverine’s locations.
Wolverines are elusive in Canada and the U.S. with less than 1,000 living in the lower 48 states, officials said. In Washington state, there are only about 20, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Scientists say climate change is presumably a threat to the species.
Wolverines are the largest members of the weasel family and weigh about 44 pounds. And they tend to live in mountainous areas.