A viral video of a wolverine savagely defending itself from two wolves has amassed over 2 million views after it was shared on Youtube. The intense minute-long video was shared by Youtuber AJ Survey. The wild encounter happened back on April 10th, 2020 in Eastern Russia. The clip features a lone wolverine encountering two wolves.
The wolves do their best to find a vulnerable spot on the little beast. They attempt to attack it from both sides. However, the wolverine is always on the offensive. It attacks the wolves in short bursts, and when they retreat, it continues walking. Eventually, the wolves realize it’s not worth the effort and retreat.
It’s not unheard of for wolverines to take down animals considerably larger than themselves. There are plenty of videos of the fierce fighter taking on wolves or taking down prey of impressive size. They have such a reputation for fighting that they’re a common sports mascot. Of course, they’re also for the popular Marvel Comics character played by actor Hugh Jackman in the X-men films. They’re the largest member of the weasel family, stocky and muscular with a reputation for being mean. Male wolverines can weigh up to 55 lbs. and reach a length of 3 ft.
Do wolverines actually live up to their aggressive reputation?
Wolverines feast primarily on carrion and can travel over 30 miles in a single night to scavenge if needed. They often follow trails made by large predators such as wolves and lynx, with the intention of finding leftover carcasses. Despite their impressive stamina, wolverines have been known to attack prey many times their size–though these instances may be exaggerated.
Howard Golden, a researcher for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, weighed in on the animal‘s reputation. While they are built for scavenging, they can be “more predator than scavenger if the situation allows for it,” Golden explained. This bold predator has large teeth and a powerful bite that can crush bone.
“A lot of myths about them are way overblown,” Golden explained. “People attribute magic powers to them, but they’re just doing their thing, looking for food. They are curious, smart animals and they figure stuff out pretty quick. They are smart enough to run down a trap line, and that’ll make trappers mad. But it makes sense that they’d do that – there’s always food on these trap lines.”
However, Golden stresses that wolverines are no more vicious than other wild animals. “They’re not extra aggressive, they avoid trouble,” he said. Wolverines are often solitary, but the “bad-tempered loner” image contributes to the idea that they are really antisocial. Golden went to a facility in Washington where about 40 wolverines reside. They had a large common area, and he stated that they were quite tolerant and social with one another.