Kits Are the First Wolverines Born at ZooMontana
ZooMontana in Billings, Mont., has announced the birth of two kits on 31 January, the first wolverines to be born at the facility. Animal caregivers first heard the kits and later found them nursing with their mother, Ahmari, in a den created in a hollowed-out log. The two babies appear healthy and are well cared for by the new mother. Ahmari has been keeping the interested father, Sid, at a distance.
Wolverine kits are born entirely white, blind, and weigh less than one pound. They will wean within ten weeks, developing rapidly and reaching adult size by the end of the year.
The lead caregiver in the area, Melissa Eschenbrenner, is thrilled with the birth. “We are cautiously watching the kits from a distance, but mom is doing a great job,” said Eschenbrenner. “As one of the few U.S zoological parks that have been successful with wolverine births this year, we’re pretty proud of Ahmari,” Eschenbrenner added.
Wolverines are found in remote boreal forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The species has struggled due to climate change and habitat loss, with current estimates putting the U.S. population at about 300 animals. Known for their ferocity and strength in proportion to their size, wolverines are the largest member of the Mustelidae family, which includes otters, minks, and weasels.
Photo Credit: © ZooMontana
Edited by Sarah Gilsoul, a writer and Communications Program Assistant at AZA
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