Each winter, when she’d bait her cameras, Shufelberger feared she might not see Buddy again. After all, why would he stick around? Besides, as a predator living near humans, he risked being injured, poisoned, trapped or shot.
She spotted him as usual in February 2015. Then a whole year passed. Last March, to Shufelberger’s relief, her camera caught him once again as he snuffled about his “magic chicken tree.” Buddy was now approaching 10 years old, an age most wolverines never reach.
“I hope there’s a female,” Shufelberger says. “Is she just shy and not coming on camera?” Most likely there isn’t a hidden female. “We’re getting to the point where I won’t expect to see him next winter,” she says.
[This article originally appeared in print as "Buddy Lost and Found."]