Stricken mountain climbers buried in avalanches could soon be dug from their icy predicaments by specially trained wolverines.
Like bears, wolverines live off a diet of both meat and vegetation. With sharp blades for claws and a ferocious bite, this member of the weasel family has been known to take down prey more than twice its size.
However, Alaskan animal conservationists believe the wild beasts can be put to good use – training them to sniff out humans like mountain rescue dogs. The only thing stopping the idea from becoming more widespread is the fact that captive wolverines are hard to breed.
Steve Kroschel, who runs a wildlife sanctuary north of Haines, is reportedly working with the conservation center to train the creatures for search and rescue missions.