Gianna Savoie was kind enough to send me a few photos from the filming of Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom, providing a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make a documentary about Gulo gulo. I’ll be posting some of these over the next two weeks, in the lead-in to the PBS premier on November 14th.
In early October, I was up on the South Teton when I spotted two sets of tracks heading up a snowfield across the canyon from where I was sitting. They were far enough away that making a definite call was difficult, but at least one set seemed distinctly wolverine, a three-by turning into a scramble as the snowfield pitched steeply upwards. The other could have been gulo as well.
A few days later, a hiking party spooked a wolverine in the same area and caught it on video as it headed for safety. This is not the same snowfield on which I saw the tracks; it was one drainage to the north. Reportedly, the wolverine in this film scrambled up the snowfield and then dropped over into the canyon where I’d been hiking.
The hikers christened the wolverine Walter after one of their party, although we have no way of knowing whether it’s male or female. For those of you who are interested in honing your wolverine ID skills, the film offers a nice glimpse of how a wolverine looks and moves.