(TORONTO, ON) – David Suzuki’s Nature of Things offers us a glimpse of the wolverine, a secretive and mostly unresearched and unphotographed creature. Emmy award-winning filmmaker Andrew Manske’s 5-year film project on the elusive Wolverine takes place in the wintery outposts of north-western Alberta.
Very little is known about this evasive and elusory animal, so Manske is determined to reveal the existence and behaviour of the Wolverine.
It so happens that researchers from the University of Alberta are equally interested in garnering further information about Wolverines and set up a machination where Wolverines can be trapped, sedated, and outfitted with GPS devices.
The wolverines seem to detect Manske’s blind and take some time before they appear before his camera. They materialize as muscular and adaptive animals, scavenging on a frozen deer carcass all the while watching out for their rival; the wolf.
They are beautiful and powerful animals with a strong sense of family, and are more predatory than the scavengers they were originally thought to be. Manske hits the jackpot, discovering a Wolverine den and a mother transporting her pups to a safe location and away from the predaceous wolves.
This scene had never been filmed previously.
Unfortunately, the GPS equipped researches discover one of the Wolverines killed by a pack of wolves. A Wolverine can ward off a few wolves but, when under attack by a pack, faces no chance.
A fierce name Wolverine is, but in nature they’re no match for a gang bidding ill will.
Wolverine research is in its infancy, but Manske’s beautiful shots in stunningly beautiful north-west Alberta surely must spark further research and curiosity of the animal. They seem to be adapting quite well to the industrial development in northern Alberta.
Hardly remembering the name Wolverine, many of us will find this documentary instructive as to their lives. The dedication of filmmaker Manske, and the beauty of his cinematography, including that of wolves, eagles, moose, and all manner of scenery will rivet you to the screen, even if the Wolverines don’t.
(The Nature of Things – Wolverine: The Ghosts of the Northern Forest, CBC, Nature of Things, Thursday February 25, 8:30pm)