NewsLocal News


Rare wolverine spotted by Utah woman on Layton trail

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 19:43:41-04

LAYTON, Utah — Early Thursday morning a Utah woman and her husband were out for a bike ride.

Sandi Sabin said they were riding along the Denver and Rio Grande Western Rail Trail, which is typically crowded with people and wildlife.

“I have seen a snake a few times or raccoons,” said Sabin.

Yet, Sabin never expected to run into a Wolverine.

“I saw what I thought was a dog that was running toward us and I could see a couple walking in the distance also,” she said.

The “dog” was not on a leash and that’s when Sabin stopped biking and the Wolverine ran back towards the couple.

“If anything it was very skittish,” said Sabin. “It would come towards us then saw us coming and ran back toward the other people, and it went back and forth just trying to figure out where it was going to go.”

Sabin pulled out her camera, capturing the moments the Wolverine walked towards her and her husband, then took off into the neighborhood.

Biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources confirmed this could be the same Wolverine spotted at Antelope Island in May.

Read - Rare wolverine spotted on Antelope Island

Mark Hadley, the Northern Region Outreach Manager for DWR said a Wolverine sighting in Utah is rare, and they don’t know much about the population.

“It would be awesome if we could capture the animal, put a GPS collar on it and take it up to a high elevation area and release it where Wolverine’s live,” said Hadley.

There have been five Wolverine sightings total in the Beehive State.

The first Wolverine discovered in 1979, was shot illegally northeast of Vernal.

Read - Utah increases fishing limits to avoid potential die-offs

The next sighting wouldn’t be for 35 years. Two were spotted in 2014 close to Wyoming.

In 2016 a female Wolverine had been hit by a car near Bear Lake.

“This is really exciting to have this video confirmation,” said Hadley.
Wolverines are not as big as a cougar or small bear, but Hadley said they have been known to kill a moose.

“They’re very impressive animals,” said Hadley.

Scavengers by nature, Wolverines typically find animals that are already dead rather than killing for food.

Hadley advises families in the West Layton to keep pets inside at night, close during the day, and to be on the lookout until DWR can trap the Wolverine and relocate it.