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Rare wolverine caught on Utah neighborhood doorbell camera

July 4, 2021 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Wildlife officials say a rare animal spotted in a Utah neighborhood likely has been on the move in search of a new place to live.

A home doorbell camera caught the wolverine on video Thursday in west Layton about 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Salt Lake City, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officials believe it was the same animal seen on nearby Antelope Island in early May.

Wolverines have been spotted in Utah only six times. The last time before this year was in 2016.

The largest members of the weasel family, wolverines look like a combination of a skunk and bear and reach 40 pounds (18 kilograms). They are rare in the Rocky Mountain region and typically found in high mountain areas.

Males usually establish a territory with one to three females, leaving two other males on average to rove in search of their own territories, said wildlife biologist and Wolverine Foundation board member Jeff Copeland.

“In doing so they can end up in some really odd places we’ve seen over the years,” Copeland said.

Wolverines often don’t shy away from people but aren’t dangerous, just naturally curious, he said.

Wolverines declined in the U.S. before beginning to rebound in the 1960s.