Ryan Campbell was on a ski lift in Mammoth Mountain with friends when he noticed something very unusual. From atop the ski lift, Campbell and his friend were able to see what they thought was a wolverine walking closer and closer to the lifts. The shocked individual described the animal as a “a small bear, except for the white marking, long tail and the head.”
“We saw it running toward a nearby clump of trees. Then, we noticed why it started running. A skier was coming down the slope and took the jump, likely never having seen how close they were.” Campbell was able to get a photograph of the animal before it "took off" into the distance. California Department of Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist Chris Stermer later confirmed the animal to be a wolverine. Stermer explained to SF Gate just how exciting and rare this finding was considering the last known wolverwine was said to have died in 1922.
“I am 99.9% certain that is a wolverine in the photo, which is pretty exciting! In fact, the Department has been sent two videos since last week showing what appears to be a wolverine at a distance, and one was taken by someone on a ski lift.” This, and a rare sighting of a wolverine climbing a tree in Tahoe National Forest in 2010, have been the only two California wolverine sightings on recored in the last century.