A pair of tourists visiting Yellowstone National Park just had a “once in a lifetime” sighting of an extremely rare animal. And there’s photo evidence to prove it. A father-daughter pair visiting the park for the first time got to be one of the lucky few to ever see the rare Wolverine.
According to USA Today, their guide described the encounter as a “once in a lifetime experience.”
What to Know
- There are only 6-7 wolverines inside Yellowstone National Park
- The two tourists who saw the wolverine were absolutely elated
- According to their guide, the wolverine wasn’t on the road for that long, so they go extra lucky.
- The wolverine was likely a healthy male.
- The last wolvering sighting in Yellowstone National Park was in 2021
Here’s Why the Sighting in Yellowstone National Park is So Special:
The two were traveling with the private guide group Yellowstone Insight. The owner of that guide group spoke with For The Win Outdoors about the experience, and he had an absolutely adorable story to tell.
“For the rest of the tour, the 9-year-old daughter couldn’t stop saying, every 15 minutes or so, ‘Wow… we saw a wolverine today!’” MacNeil Lyons, owner of Yellowstone Insight, told the publication. “She told me it was the most amazing day ever in her life.”
Lyons managed to capture plenty of photos of the rare animal in the wilderness. He noted there are only around 6 or 7 in the park.
“With only 6-7 wolverine inside Yellowstone National Park (conservative estimate), we felt beyond elated at this chance encounter with this elusive creature. About 11:38 a.m. yesterday we rounded the corner heading westbound and in the on the coming lane was a low-to-the-ground, dark animal loping away from us,” he wrote.
When they first laid eyes on the creature, they thought it had to be some sort of small brown bear.
“My guest said out loud, exactly what I was thinking, “Is that a bear?”… For a hot second, we both thought that it might be a young black bear moving away from us, but as it turned and looked over its right shoulder towards us – there was no mistaking that the animal was indeed a wolverine!” he continued.
They got to observe the wolverine for around three minutes. Lyons guesses that the wolverine was a healthy male.
For the context of how rare these sightings are, the last known sighting of a wolverine in Yellowstone National Park was in January of 2021.
Wolverines are a member of the Weasel family. The incredibly strong creatures reside mostly in high altitudes, especially in alpine forests. They can weigh up to 30 pounds. They prey on small mammals and birds, but are able to kill animals much bigger than them.
Laying eyes on one of these awesome creatures is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But thankfully, we get to see some incredible photos of most of these encounters.