No, it wasn't Hugh Jackman in costume or a figment of his imagination. A hiker in California named David Messa snapped pictures of a wolverine, the fourth ever to be caught on film, while on a hiking trip in the Sierras.
The wolverine, covered in snow and ice, was walking across a bed of ice in the Sierras while Messa was hiking in mid-May, Fox40 reported. Messa said he noticed the wolverine walking clumsily across the frozen Lake Spaulding where it fell through the snow two or three times, describing it as a bull in a china shop.
Messa reported the wolverine came so close to him that he was able to capture the creature on film.
He was like a bull in a china shop running across that lake. He just probably feared nothing, Messa told Fox40.Quite a pleasure to see something like that. You know, the first day, I actually saw a bald eagle. I thought, well, is the trip gonna get any better than this?
The photo evidence of the wolverine spotting was confirmed by wildlife biologists for the government-owned Fish and Game Department of Forestry.
According to the DFG, the wolverine is the rarest species of wild mammal in California, noting this wolverine spotting was the fourth documented sighting ever in the Golden State.
In 2008, the third document wolverine spotting occurred when a motion sensor camera snapped photos of a wolverine in the Tahoe National Forest set up by Oregon State University student Katie Moriarty, who was doing research on weasels for a school project. The DFG released photos on its website after confirmed they were indeed of a wolverine.
However, the wolverine is not the rarest mammal in California; In fact, gray wolves are the rarest ever since the species migrated to California from Oregon last year.
View the slideshow to see photos of the wolverine sighting from 2008 and view the video below of David Messa's experience, courtesy of Fox40.