How do I describe Wolverines? They are *SO* super duper fierce, strong, elusive, clever, and courageous. They look like small insane bears, but are actually the largest member of the weasel family. They are ferocious and fearless and have no qualms about attacking an animal 8 times their size and crushing the bones of their prey with their strong jaws. They are powerful hunters with an UNCANNY sense of smell (they have been know to find a carcass under 20 feet of snow). Speaking of snow: they have huge paws (tipped with hook-like toes), which act like snowshoes as they gallop over snow.
American Indians have a ton of words to describe the Wolverine: Evil Spirit, Mountain Devil, Master of the Forest, Trickster Hero, Last Phantom of the Wilderness, Devil Bear, Woods Devil, Skunk Bears.
A great way to capture the spirit of the Wolverine is in this quote by American wildlife biologist, Douglas Chadwick:
“…whatever they do, they do undauntedly. They live life as fiercely and relentlessly as it has ever been lived. If wolverines have a strategy it’s this: Go hard and high and steep and never back down. Not even from the biggest grizzly and least of all from the mountain. Climb everything: Trees, cliffs, avalanche chutes, summits. Eat everybody. Alive, dead, long dead, moose, mouse, fox, frog, if it’s still warm heart or frozen bones.”
So in researching the Fennec Fox, I discovered that they have become popular pets. I thought this was strange considering that they are clearly not domesticated and wild animals. Then I saw a video of “Scout,” somebody’s pet Fennec and I now understand how this has happened:
This animal is possibly the cutest thing that has ever lived. Who cares where it lives (North Africa) or what it eats (ominvore). It makes adorable noises and is tiny and amazing. It’s like the cutest wittle baby cat-dog-baby that you could ever imagine.
The Bornean Bearded Pig is from Southeast Asia. They are different from other pig species in that way. Also, they have longer legs than the average pig. The long legs help them migrate to follow where the food is. The are omnivorous, but prefer easily obtained fruit; they follow after other animals like gibbons and macaques and eat what is dropped on the ground.
Bearded Pigs are excellent swimmers and have been known to swim from island to island in search of food or a cool place to hang out. Or perhaps they were just warm and wanted to take a lovely swim.
Oh. And something else which makes this pig different from other pig species: IT HAS A BEARD.
Both male and female pigs have bristly, bushy, long hairs on their elongated nose and cheeks. Who knows what purpose these hair serve in the wild, but they look super cool.
Raccoons. Sometimes you love them. Sometimes you hate them. Sometimes you envy them. And sometimes you think they are gross.
Love: They are related to pandas! It looks like they are wearing little masks! Those little rascals! Raccoons can purr! Their babies are so fluffin’ cute. AW! It looks like they are washing their hands and their food (but actually they are softening the food and looking for foreign objects)! The word “raccoon” is an adaptation of a native Powhatan word meaning “animal that scratches with its hands.”
Hate: They are nocturnal and if you’ve ever run into a family of raccoons in the middle of the night, it can be a little scary. If cornered, they will kill/beat up a dog or cat (not cool, bro). They will move into your attic and poop everywhere. They are susceptible to rabies and will happily bite you on the face and share it with you.
Envy: They are super duper climbers. They have amazing manual dexterity and it is increased in the water. In winter, the raccoon does not hibernate, but can sleep for a few weeks in it’s den. They can run up to 15 mph.
Gross: Raccoons are omnivorous, which isn’t gross, but some of the items they enjoy eating is: insects, rodents, frogs, slugs, squirrels, anything in a trashcan, dead animals on the side of the road. Yuck.
What do you get when you mix a cat, a raccoon, a panda(?), and a wheelbarrow full of CUTE? Dat is wight. A wittle wittle wed panda. Srlsly, dees itty bittle faces are so umpy bumpy cuteypants. It’s wediquwous.
The Red Panda is known by various names in Asia (where it “immigrated” from) such as the “Lesser Panda” (which I feel is unfair and unreasonable), the “Red Cat-Bear” (thanks, Captain Obvious), and my favorite the “Fire Fox.” The Red Panda is a nocturnal and omnivorous animal. They live in cold mountain climates and keep warm by using their BUSHY WUSHY STRIPEY tails as a pashmina and wrap themselves up. They also like to play Mahjong and listen to spoken word beat poetry.
Oh. And of course, like all cute animals who don’t kill for fun, they are considered vulnerable on the IUCN conservation list. Once again, deforestation threatens to make these unique and ADORABLE animals extinct in the wild.