A hiker has captured the fourth image of a wolverine to ever be spotted in California during a trip to the Sierras last month.
"The first day, I actually saw a bald eagle," recounted David Messa, according to Fox40.com. "I thought, well, is the trip going to get any better than this?"
The California native was on a hike when halfway through his four-day trip, he noticed an animal run across a lake mostly covered with snow and ice.
Messa described the animal as being "like a bull in a China shop," and explained that it fell through the snow two or three times while he snapped photos.
"He just probably feared nothing," said Messa of the animal, speaking to the Sacramento news channel. "He was kind of galloping; actually fell through the snow two or three times, turned around and came back, and came across in front of me. I was actually able to get a photo."
Wildlife biologists with Fish and Game and the Department of Forestry have confirmed that the photos of the animal are of a wolverine, said Messa.
The last time a wolverine was spotted in California was in 2008 when the motion sensor camera in the Tahoe National Forest caught images.
Wolverines are extremely rare and resemble small bears. They are the largest in the Mustelidae (weasels) family and are known to be able to kill prey many times the size of its own.
They animals are found mostly in the remote reaches of the Northern boreal forests and subarctic and alpine tundra of the Northern Hemisphere, among locations in Alaska, Nordic countries in Europe, western Russia, and Siberia.
Solitary animals, the wolverine spotted in California last month was alone.
In California recently, another rare sighting occurred when a lone gray wolf was photographed in Lassen County. The male animal is believed to still be in the area.