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KRISTIANSAND

Norway wolverine causes havoc at US airport

A wolverine in transit from a Norway zoo to Alaska gnawed through his cage at customs in Newark Airport and began growling at passers-by, winning it the moniker "psycho killer" in the US press.

Norway wolverine causes havoc at US airport
A wolverine at Kristiansand zoo. Photo: Birgit Fostervold
“His head was sticking out,” Sarah Howard, the animal's handler, told the New York Times. 
 
The wolverine, named Kasper by staff at Kristiansand zoo, was in transit to a wildlife centre in Alaska when Howard spotted that he had managed to chew through his metal cage. 
 
“It’s believed he chewed a hole in it,” Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, confirmed. 
 
European Wolverines are known for their enormously strong jaws which can crush through the frozen meat  they find stored for the winter by other animals, and even through bones. 
 
After his escape was noticed, the 18kg animal refused to be moved to a new cage and had to be tranquilised with ketamine before continuing his trip to Alaska. 
 
Rolf Arne Ølberg, a vet at Kristiansand Zoo, said that the US press had exaggerated the danger. The tabloid New York Post headlined their story "Psycho-killer wolverine almost escapes". 
 
“He is a kind wolverine," Ølberg told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. ”I have spoken to the animal handlers at the airport in New York. Everything was under control. The wolverine was in good condition when it left us, and it still is.” 
 
”We have also sent wolverines to Canada and France. They managed the trips without drama," Ølberg continued. "We are considering whether to use cages made completely of metal in the future.” 
 
A good life awaits Kasper at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center that is set on nearly 70 hectares of land in the mountains were he will have plenty of room to roam. He will soon be joined by a female wolverine from Sweden.

KRISTIANSAND

Timber! Beaver crushed by tree it was felling

A beaver in Norway has been crushed to death after misjudging which way the tree it was gnawing down was going to fall.

Timber! Beaver crushed by tree it was felling
The unlucky beaver trapped under a birch. Photo: Beate Strøm Johansen
Beate Strøm Johansen, a Zoologist at the Agder Natural History museum in Kristiansand on the southern tip of Norway, was called to the scene after a local logger stumbled upon the unfortunate animal. 
 
“This beaver has been extremely unlucky,” she told The Local. “I hope it’s not something that happens very often for the beavers' sake.” 
 
Johansen said that beavers normally have an uncanny ability to predict when and where a tree is likely to fall. 
 
“When the tree is falling they have to jump aside so the tree doesn’t hit them. Instinctively, they should know where it is falling, but sometimes they don’t know which way to jump,” she explained. 
 
“Sometimes there’s a strong wind and the tree doesn’t fall where the beaver thinks it's going to fall.” 
 
Leif Hægeland, the logger who found the beaver said he had never seen a beaver caught out like this in his 25 years in working as a woodsman. 
 
“I have seen many beavers, but I have never seen such a thing,” he told Norway’s state-run broadcaster NRK. 
 
Beavers sometimes fell trees to provide logs to dam the rivers where they live, and sometimes for tree bark and cambium tissue to eat. 
 
In 2014, another beaver was found starved to death in southern Norway, after its tail was trapped under a fallen tree.