LAYTON, Utah — A trap has been set for the wolverine spotted several times this week in Layton in the hope it can be moved to safer territory.
Biologists with the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) set a trap baited with a deer leg for the animal near Antelope Island, where another wolverine was spotted in May.
They don't know if wolverines are breeding, or if they're just coming down from areas further north.
It was placed near water sources and shade, and away from areas where a dog could accidentally be trapped, according to DWR biologist Adam Brewerton.
Several sightings were reported by Layone residents; it was captured on a security camera July 1 by Brittany Zepeda, who thought it looked like some kind of "devil dog," and certainly not something usually seen in residential neighborhoods.
Just a few days earlier, Sandi Sabin and her husband were riding along the Denver and Rio Grande Western Rail Trail when she saw what she thought was a dog running toward them.
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.”
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 Wolverines live,” said Hadley.
There have been only five wolverine sightings in Utah, the first in 1979, where the animal was shot illegally. The next sighting was not until 2014.
Scavengers by nature, Wolverines typically find animals that are already dead rather than killing for food.
Hadley advises families in 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.