Don Balke: Wolverine
Artist: Don Balke
Trudging through the mountainous wilderness areas of North America, the ferocious Wolverine fears no animal. Heavily built, the Wolverine rambles through Michigan's forests on short bowlegs like a small bear. This giant weasel will readily bear sharp claws and powerful teeth to meet any challenge. Each year from January to June, two to five of these fearsome predators are born. These playful youngsters roll about in their snow-covered den while their mother gathers food for them. As they grow older, the female teaches her woolly babies the art of survival. They will learn how to stalk and kill prey, scavenge kill of other predators, and even the crafty art of working the traplines. For the gluttonous Wolverine, the trapper's food caches are welcome treasures. The Wolverines will steal the bait and then cleverly carry off the traps . . . hiding the lethal snares in forest undergrowth. Even though the Wolverine is quite small in size, it can tote a carcass three times its weight for distances over a mile, and it can kill a moose twenty times its size! When this surly mammal is not tracking its prey, it will climb a tree and wait patiently for rodents and small animals to pass by. The young Wolverines will continue to share the harvests of their mother's kill until autumn. Although rare, this fascinating animal can still be seen in the wilderness areas of Michigan.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® commemorative cover for the Baby Wildlife of the 50 States, postmarked January 26, 1984.
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