Hiker photo confirms rare wolverine sighting in California

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Who said the only time you can see a wolverine in California is on the big screen?

A California man took a picture of a wolverine walking across a bed of ice during a hiking trip in the Sierras, marking the fourth documented live wolverine to be caught on camera in the state, Fox40.com reported.

"The first day, I actually saw a bald eagle," David Messa said, recalling his mid-May hike. "I thought, well, is the trip going to get any better than this?"

Halfway into his four-day hike, Messa noticed a clumsy creature run across a lake covered mostly with snow and ice. The unidentified animal was “like a bull in a china shop” and fell through the snow two or three times, he said.

Back at camp, he figured the creature was a wolverine, the second rarest animal species in California behind the lone wolf from Oregon.

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Messa told Fox40.com that wildlife biologists with Fish and Game and the Department of Forestry confirmed the picture.

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