I want to change the misperception that wolverines are vicious animals

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  • 04/06/2017

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Morgane Bonamy hopes these misunderstood carnivores will someday be reintroduced to their natural habitat in northern Quebec.

I do research on wolverines, those bear-like carnivores of the North with the unmerited reputation of being particularly vicious beasts. Mammals of the Mustelidae (weasels) family, they actually aren't all that dangerous to humans. They've now mostly disappeared from view; in Quebec, it's been 40 years since any were spotted in the wild. Some live in captivity, like the two kept at the Zoo sauvage of Saint-Félicien, 500 kilometres north of Montreal. I interviewed 340 people (200 adults and 140 children) there to find out what they know about the animal – very little, it turns out. Wolverines could someday be reintroduced to their natural habitat in northern Quebec, and a lot of education will be needed to change people's misperceptions and prepare them for the animals' arrival. Zoos would be the perfect place to do that. After my PhD, I want to keep doing research on wild animals.

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