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2012-05-30 / Front Page

Sandusky first stop on wolverine tour


The new traveling display of the wolverine that roamed in northern Sanilac County for several years arrives at the Sanilac County Courthouse Monday. 
Photo by Jeff Ford The new traveling display of the wolverine that roamed in northern Sanilac County for several years arrives at the Sanilac County Courthouse Monday. Photo by Jeff Ford The wolverine that roamed the Minden City Game Area until its death in 2010, returns Monday in a display at the Sanilac County Courthouse in Sandusky.

For more than twohundred years, the last known sighting of a wolverine in Michigan was commonly believed to be by fur traders around the turn of the 18th century.

That changed on Feb. 24, 2004 when two coyote hunters spotted a female wolverine in Huron County. For six years she roamed the area, primarily in the state game area in northern Sanilac County, until being found deceased in March 2010.

The wolverine, which became an extensive research project of Deckerville science teacher Jeff Ford, has been on permanent display at the Bay City State Recreation Area, preserved by Sandy Brown, a Bay Port taxidermist.

“I’m pleased to announce that we’re bringing her back to the Thumb for a final farewell,” announced Sen. Mike Green, RMayville, on Tuesday. “It has been in the works for more than a year, but finally she will arrive at Sandusky on June 4 as part of a new traveling exhibit.”

The exhibit will be unveiled at an opening ceremony Monday at 1 p.m. on the second floor of the courthouse. The public will be able to view the display during the courthouse’s normal business hours until June 18, when she will be moved to Huron County for the second leg of her tour.

Ford, who no longer teaches at Deckerville, will participate in the ceremony. He and freelance journalist Elizabeth Shaw recently released their book, The Lone Wolverine, which highlights his efforts to document, photograph and film the creature in the Thumb.

“It’s a fitting tribute to have the wolverine come back to where she called home for at least six years of her life,” said Ford”It’s a fitting tribute to have the wolverine come back to where she called home for at least six years of her life,” said Ford. “The fact that she was able to live in relative secrecy all those years shows what an elusive mammal she was and is a testament to the extraordinarily bountiful and secure habitat the Minden Bog provided.”

“This is a great opportunity for kids and adults alike to get an up-close idea of the physical size and strength of this animal, which represents our state’s longstanding identity,” said Sanilac County Drain Commissioner Greg Alexander, who helped coordinate plans for the display.

The project took several months to complete because the permanent display in Bay City was not suitable for protecting the wolverine mount from damage during travel. Department of Natural Resources personnel have designed and constructed a custom mobile case and exhibit for the tour. A digital presentation produced by Ford will also be playing adjacent to the exhibit and include actual video and photographs of the wolverine in the wild.

More information is available from Sen. Green’s office by calling 866-305- 2131.

More information is available from Sen. Green’s office by calling 866-305- 2131.

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