Oregon Man Spots Extremely Rare Wolverine Running Through Neighborhood

Wolverine in Eugene Oregon
Willie Gonia

Pound for pound, wolverines are some of the most ferocious critters in the animal kingdom, especially when it comes to North America.

They are stocky and muscular mammals with thick, dark fur, which helps them withstand the cold temperatures of their alpine habitats. Found in the northern forests of North America, Europe and Asia, their largest presence in the Western hemisphere is in Canada. They also can be found all across Alaska and down the Rockies into parts of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, although they occasionally will appear elsewhere.

And by occasionally, I mean very rarely… in fact, it’s quite rare to spot the elusive wolverine anywhere in the lower 48. They have vast home ranges and are capable of traveling long distances in search of food, but despite their solitary nature, wolverines are very territorial, marking their surroundings with scent. They’ll throw down with just about any animal they come across to defend that territory, whether it be a bear, wolf or mountain lion.

Wolverines are opportunistic feeders and scavengers. They have a varied diet that primarily includes meat from various sources such as carrion, small mammals, birds, insects, and occasionally larger prey such as deer fawn. They will also eat berries.

But an Oregon neighborhood is probably the last place you’d expect to find one. Nevertheless, a number of Eugene residents did exactly that. One Eugene man had a once in a lifetime encounter with the wolverine, spotting it running through his neighborhood in broad daylight. The wolverine is most likely just passing through, on its way to find a more suitable habitat.

According to ODFW, wolverines are considered a threatened species, and it’s extremely rare to spot 0ne in Oregon:

“This wolverine is likely dispersing to a new area where it can survive and hopefully reproduce. Wolverines need high elevation habitat (alpine areas with dense snowpack), but young wolverine often disperse long distances to establish new territory.”

A pretty cool encounter, one he’s unlikely to have ever again.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock