Wildlife

‘Closer…closer…CHOMP!’ A Denali National Park wolverine goes in for its closeup

A trail camera met the jaws of a wandering wolverine in Denali National Park in a series of photos posted on the park’s Facebook page Tuesday.

The wolverine can be seen approaching the camera beneath a blue sky and above a bed of sparkly, white snow.

The wolverine stares upward, beard covered in chunks of snow.

In the third image, it’s a blur of what appears to be some combination of teeth, tongue and lips.

Closer…closer…CHOMP! and gone… When was the last time you saw a picture of the inside of a wolverine’s mouth? This...

Posted by Denali National Park and Preserve on Tuesday, November 16, 2021

“When was the last time you saw a picture of the inside of a wolverine’s mouth?” the post asks. “This blurry self-portrait was taken when a wolverine investigated a trail camera.”

Following the image of the “chomp,” the wolverine can be seen walking off toward trees in the distance.

The photos were taken on April 7, 2020, according to the parks service.

The wolverine, which is a relative of the mink and weasel, is found across Alaska. Wolverines can easily climb trees because of their claws and are able to walk through snow soft and deep snow, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

“Because of their great endurance, strength, and foraging behavior, wolverines have become a center of folklore,” according to Fish and Game. “However, its fierce reputation has often been exaggerated. They are known to steal furbearers from traps and to damage cabins but contrary to stories will not attack a larger predator, like a wolf or a bear.”

And, despite the wolverine’s reputation for being a tough and ferocious animals, the park service wrote that wolverines also have a softer side — they’re not as antisocial as people assumed and sometimes spend time with their fathers as juveniles.

They’re also opportunistic eaters and used their powerful jaws and large neck muscles to crush bones and eat frozen flesh, according to Fish and Game, though trail cameras don’t seem to be a primary part of their diet.

Sponsored