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Family makes very rare wolverine sighting at Yellowstone

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Posted at 9:21 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 21:21:36-05

A California family made a rare sighting at America’s oldest national park.

A father and daughter encountered a wolverine during their visit to Yellowstone National Park on Saturday and were able to snap a picture. Carl Kemp and his 9-year-old daughter Maya were touring Yellowstone with an organization called 'Yellowstone Insight' when they spotted the animal in the middle of a snowy roadway.

“It was really magical to see and dad said it was like the unicorn of Yellowstone,” said Maya.

Biologists estimate that there are only about a half dozen wolverines in Yellowstone at any given time, so sightings are not common. There is only one documented still photograph of a wolverine in Yellowstone and that picture was taken decades ago. A trail camera was able to capture video of a wolverine in the park in January of last year.

MacNeil Lyons, the guide who accompanied the Kemps when they encountered the wolverine, said he’s only seen a wolverine in Yellowstone once prior to Saturday’s encounter, and that was through binoculars from more than a mile away.

“I’ve been wondering what’s next because this is kind of like the top animal to see in Yellowstone National Park. That’s why I’m still kind of in awe. I don’t know what to say about it,” Lyons said. “It was truly one of those magical moments. I don’t know how to describe it. We were both speechless at the time.”

Watch the video below:

Video: Wolverine spotted in Yellowstone National Park

Not only did the group see the wolverine, they also encountered wolves and a bear during the outing.

“We were riding that high all the way for the rest of the trip. We didn’t want the trip to end, but we couldn’t wait for the trip to end to tell everyone about it,” said Carl.

This story was originally published by Keagan Harsha of KTVQ in Billings, Montana.