Utah wildlife officials have captured images of an animal thought nonexistent in the state, a wolverine.
The images come from trail cameras on the northern face of the Uinta Mountains, which the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources had set up to observe elusive animals in their natural habitat.
Though the bait in the area where the wolverine was sighted had already been devoured, the creature was drawn to the region by the scent.
27 images of the creature were taken as it roamed the mountain February 18. The cameras were not retrieved until June, at which time the images were discovered.
This sighting is the first documentation a wolverine in Utah since a carcass of the species was found in 1979. It is also the first time one has ever been photographed in the state’s wilderness.
In April, a camera 20 miles from Evanston snapped images of a wolverine, speculated to be the same creature. Wolverine territories can be as large as 350 square miles.
Fewer than 300 wolverines are thought to occupy the lower 48 states, making this an incredibly unique find.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.