Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom

About

Wolverines are among the most elusive creatures on the planet. They seek out the toughest terrain – the most rugged, remote and fiercely raw – and they’ve always been scarce to begin with. So they’re hard to find. They weigh only about 30 pounds, but they have a ton of attitude and a reputation to match. They eat everything, dead or alive, warm or frozen, and will climb anything, even mountains. It’s impossible for humans to keep up with them. They’re built to travel long distances with minimum effort across deep snow or up the sides of sheer cliffs. They roam an enormous territory of about 500 square miles – a home turf larger than an average grizzly bear’s. And they share it only with their immediate family. It’s “no trespassing” for everybody else.

Few researchers have observed wolverines in the wild, though some have tried, for years on end. Most must settle for capturing their images on remote cameras, tracking them from a distance, and getting to know them from their DNA. Those that study them become completely captivated by them, full of admiration and respect for these totally outrageous and independent creatures. Author and wolverine enthusiast, Doug Chadwick, puts it this way: “Like most of the guys on the project, what I really want to do is just be a wolverine. I want to go where I want to go, do what I want to do, bite who I want to bite, and climb what I want to climb.”

Yet there is one man whose experience with wolverines has been completely different. Wildlife filmmaker Steve Kroschel has spent 25 years with wolverines, and has even shared his home with them. Caring for injured and orphaned animals on a sixty-acre refuge in Alaska, he is one of the few men in the world to raise wolverines in captivity. The two orphans he has cared for since their birth have become his lifelong responsibility – and they are a handful! But he remains their committed and devoted advocate, a more than willing substitute parent to these remarkable animals he has come to love.

Production Credits Print

WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY
GIANNA SAVOIE

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
JOSEPH PONTECORVO

NARRATED BY
CRAIG SECHLER

EDITOR
STACEY DOUGLASS MOVERLEY

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/ASSISTANT EDITOR
ROBERT BOOTH

ORIGINAL MUSIC BY
LENNY WILLIAMS AND
CHRIS BIONDO

ADDITIONAL CAMERA
MARIO BENASSI
RUSSELL CHADWICK
ALAN McPHEELY
SHANE MOORE
ROBERT POOLE
KIPJAZ SAVOIE

SOUND RECORDISTS
KIPJAZ SAVOIE
SCOT CHARLES
NIMMIDA NORRAKET

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
JAYNE JUN

ONLINE EDITOR
SHANE DILLON

SOUND EDITOR
BRIAN BEATRICE

RE-RECORDING MIXER
ED CAMPBELL

GRAPHIC ANIMATION
STEPHEN MOVERLEY

COLORIST
ERIC ROSEN

SPECIAL THANKS
THE WOLVERINE FOUNDATION
NORTHERN ROCKIES CONSERVATION COOPERATIVE
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, US DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
USDA FOREST SERVICE
TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST
FLATHEAD NATIONAL FOREST
TAHOE NATIONAL FOREST
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST RESEARCH STATION, OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH & GAME – WILDLIFE DIVISION
GOOGLE EARTH PRO
JASON WILMOT
BRIAN WHITLOCK
THE LODGE AT WHITEFISH LAKE, WHITEFISH, MT
WINGS OF ALASKA AIRLINES
TEMSCO HELICOPTERS, PETERSBURG, AK
PACIFIC WING, PETERSBURG, AK
CAPTAIN’S CHOICE HOTEL, HAINES, AK
MOSQUITO LAKE SCHOOL, HAINES, AK
SPORTSMAN SKI HAUS, WHITEFISH, MT
BRUCE EVANS, BIKOLOGY, KALISPELL, MT
33 MILE ROADHOUSE, HAINES, AK
KORY PETTMAN
DALE PEDERSEN

STOCK FOOTAGE AND STILLS
KROSCHEL FILMS
CARSON FOOTAGE SUPPLIED COURTESY OF CARSON ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
AERIAL FILMWORKS
JEFF FORD
DAN SAVAGE
RICHARD YATES
WILDLIFE RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT
SIERRA PACIFIC INDUSTRIES
USGS, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK ARCHIVE
DOUG MCMAINS, NPS
KOVR - TV

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SUPERVISING PRODUCER
JANICE YOUNG

SENIOR PRODUCER
LAURA METZGER

PRODUCTION MANAGER
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
JAYNE JUN

ONLINE EDITOR
PATRICK KRASS

SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE IN CHARGE
WILLIAM GRANT

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

Produced by THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG and National Geographic Channel

This program was produced by THIRTEEN, which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2010 WNET.ORG Properties LLC
All rights reserved.

WEB CREDITS

PRODUCER
BIJAN REZVANI

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
CHIE WITT

PRODUCTION ASSISTANCE
SARAH DARRO
SAM EGENDORF

DESIGNER
JOY WEEENG

PAGEBUILDING
BRIAN SANTALONE

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
BRIAN LEE

CREATIVE DIRECTOR
NICK MILLER

DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL STRATEGY
DAVID HIRMES

SENIOR DIRECTOR
DANIEL B. GREENBERG

WRITERS
Daniel Bernstein
for "Introduction"

for "Wolverine Facts"
Sam Egendorf