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Categorized | Outdoors

Michigan’s only known wolverine died of natural causes

Michigan’s only known wolverine apparently died of natural causes, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment announced this week.

A necropsy performed at the DNRE’s Wildlife Diagnostic Laboratory and microscopic examinations at Michigan State University showed some heart degeneration and some liver congestion, but no sign of infection or trauma. The wolverine was in fair body condition with small deposits of fat. Metal and pesticide screenings were negative.

The female wolverine, first discovered by coyote hunters near Bad Axe in the Thumb on Feb. 24, 2004, was approximately 9 years old, said DNRE pathologist Tom Cooley. Previous DNA analysis indicated the animal’s genetic origin was from a vast area of Ontario and Manitoba.

The dead wolverine was found semi-submerged on the downstream side of a beaver dam by hikers Morgan Graham and Todd Rann in the Minden City State Game Area in mid March. The animal was last known to be alive on Feb. 17, 2010.

The carcass was taken to a taxidermist by DNRE personnel. It will be made into a full-body mount to be displayed at the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center at Bay City State Recreational Area.

The animal was the first wolverine ever authenticated in Michigan.

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