June 17, 2012

Mystery Mammal – CSI Yoho!

Earlier this week, while leading a guided hike to Yoho Pass, we came across a huge pile of fur right on the trail.  Clearly, something had met its maker, but what?

The fur was incredibly long, about 20 or 22 cm (8 – 9 inches), so it was definitely a winter coat.  Each hair was white at the base, and almost black at the tip.  Hmmm...

After the hike, I bumped into a friend who works for Parks Canada, in the department that monitors wildlife and deals with conflicts between animals and people.  He knew about the remains and said they belonged to... a moose!

It had been killed in early April, when animals still have their thick winter fur.  His guess was wolves, and when he and a co-worker had visited the site then, they found both wolf and wolverine tracks in the snow.

Mystery solved.