Wolverines in Nevada

A brief piece on wolverines in Nevada appeared in the Elko Daily Free Press last week. I’ve only had one report of a wolverine in Nevada – not verified, not verifiable – and their historic status there seems poorly known.

My favorite part of this article is the following quote from an 1871 newspaper article: “While visiting Mountain City last week, Allen Fisher presented us with a skin of this singular animal — called man-eater from his singular proclivity for human flesh.” With the general cultural conviction that all carnivores were intent on dining on humans, it’s incredible that any 19th century European-American dared set foot outside the door. I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but wolverines do not have a “proclivity for human flesh.” I’d be curious to know more about the exact origins of this level of hype; there’s plenty of mythology out there about wolverine ferocity, insanity, and destruction of property, but very few stories of purported wolverine attacks on humans (in contrast to the numerous tales, however false, of wolves attacking and devouring people.) If anyone finds historic references on this subject, let me know.

 

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