Wintry wolverine has cub in Belgium, beating climate-change odds

VIDEO: REUTERS
A young wolverine at wildlife park Domaine des Grottes de Han in Han-sur-Lesse, southern Belgium on April 12, 2017.
A young wolverine at wildlife park Domaine des Grottes de Han in Han-sur-Lesse, southern Belgium on April 12, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - The wolverine, a carnivore confined to colder climates since the last Ice Age, has re-established a tenuous foothold further south in a Belgian wildlife park.

A female cub of the species that also includes badgers and martens was born in February in the Domain of the Caves of Han park south of Brussels.

It finally emerged from its den this week, a park spokesman said.

Wolverines spread through Europe in prehistoric times but are now confined to Scandinavia and parts of Russia and North America. Conservationists have voiced concern that their habitats are shrinking further as global temperatures rise.

There are currently around 1,300 wolverines living in Europe, including 116 in 45 zoos and wildlife parks, the spokesman said.

The park plans to transfer the new arrival, who has yet to be named, to a zoo once it has reach reached maturity in about two years.