The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tracking the ghost

From the Yakima (Wash.) Herald Republic:

Eighty years. For that long, there have been only unverified sightings. The very occasional set of tracks crossing a remote snowfield. In recent years, perhaps a fleeting image on some motion-detector camera high in the North Cascades. Evidence aptly illusory of animals that might as well have been ghosts of the boreal forest — albeit ghosts with a reputation for unparalleled ferocity. For eight decades, even scientists couldn't say for sure whether this state was home to even one member of this elusive animal species. Until two weeks ago. Now they know all about one. And her name is Melanie. She's a year old and weighs 19 pounds. And researchers are hoping against hope that she's not alone out there — though they'll know soon enough. The satellite collar they've attached to her will answer questions that have gone unanswered for those 80 years. She's a wolverine. In Washington. And that, in the world of wildlife science, is very, very big news. "It's historic," says Keith Aubry, a carnivore expert and research wildlife biologist heading up a pilot study of wolverines in the state from his office at the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station in Olympia.
Also wolverines are good at fighting off communist invaders.


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