A poacher killed a rarely seen creature for its pelt and abandoned the carcass in southwestern Montana, wildlife officials said.
Game wardens with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are seeking information that might lead them to the poacher, the agency said in a Nov. 16 news release.
Someone reported spotting a wolverine carcass along a U.S. Forest Service road just northwest of Wisdom, a small town about 90 miles southeast of Missoula, and near the Continental Divide about Nov. 10, officials said.
A game warden went out and confirmed “the animal had been shot, skinned and abandoned,” officials said.
Wolverine pelts retail online for about $1,000. But it’s illegal to hunt the animal in Montana, officials said.
That’s because while there are large wolverine populations in Canada and Alaska, they’re much more rare throughout the Rocky and Cascade mountains in the western U.S.
Wolverines, the largest members of the weasel family, are fully protected and listed as a threatened species in California. One of the elusive creatures was documented there in May for only the second time in 100 years, McClatchy News previously reported.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks asks anyone with information to report it through the agency’s website or call the violation reporting hotline at 1-800-TIP-MONT. Tipsters might be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000, officials said in the release.