A new documentary profiling wolverines contains the only footage ever taken of a wolverine baby in the wild.
Captured by Canadian wildlife filmmaker Andrew Manske, the clips shows a wolverine mother carrying her crying baby from one snowy den to another. In the documentary, Manske says he suspects the mother moved the kit to protect it from surrounding predators.
“It’s taken me five years to get to this moment and it’s the highlight of my career as a wildlife filmmaker,” says Manske.
Resembling a small bear, wolverines are fierce and surprisingly tough. They live in punishing environments, are renown for their reclusive habits, and have a bite force that is stronger than any other carnivore. The wolverine has been known to kill bears and wolves in self-defence.
For The Nature of Things documentary, Wolverine: Ghost of the Northern Forest, Manske followed the elusive and nocturnal creatures across remote areas in northwestern Alberta, camping out for days in the frigid boreal forest.
After half a decade of researching the animals, Manske found evidence that wolverines were much more social than suspected. He filmed the animals hanging out in small groups outside of a beaver den and a mother and her two kits traveling together.
Manske also discovered that male wolverines may play a bigger role in child rearing than previously assumed.
“We kept seeing the male wolverine returning to the den when the mother was inside with her kits. The male would come by every couple days just to check on them,” Manske told the CBC.
Manske has been shooting wildlife for 20 years. He first became enraptured by wolverines after seeing motion-activated trail camera footage of them in northwestern Alberta. From that moment onwards, he became obsessed with filming the creatures.