An animal dashed down a busy road in Montana and into a cemetery.
Jessica Jaeger and her husband, Dylan Heiner, spotted the critter in Butte and knew this wasn’t an animal they had typically seen.
“We were driving down a fairly busy road in Butte when he ran out of a neighborhood and into the cemetery,” Jaeger told McClatchy News. “We had no idea what he was because of how he was running, so we followed him.”
The couple was experiencing a rare sight.
The animal was an elusive and rarely seen wolverine, wildlife officials told McClatchy News. The Montana Standard first reported the May 2 sighting.
Wolverine sightings are rare, especially in populated areas, Molly Parks, carnivore coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks told McClatchy News.
“They are typically found in remote, high elevation areas and are solitary and quite elusive,” Parks said in an email.
The couple didn’t know it initially, but they did their own research to determine they saw a wolverine. They were blown away.
“It felt pretty special since it’s very rare for them to be in town like that,” Jaeger said.
Wolverines can be between 38 and 47 inches long, and weigh between 13 and 31 pounds, according to the National Park Service.
They’re “active year-round” and breed from April to October, according to the National Park Service. During the winter months, they “den in deep snow.”
Wolverines were nearly extinct in Montana in the 1900s but its population has since grown, according to Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Now they can be found in remote locations such as Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and near Yellowstone National Park, according to Lee Enterprises.
In March, a tour group at Yellowstone National Park spotted an elusive wolverine walking on the road in front of them, McClatchy News reported. No other vehicles were around, and the tour group spent 3 minutes watching the wolverine.
“We turned around to make our way back, when I saw what I thought was a black bear running down the road,” Carl Kemp, a person on the tour, said on YouTube. “As soon as it turned, we realized we were in the middle of a once in a lifetime experience.”