SEATTLE -- What started with biologists noticing odd tracks in the North Cascades snow has turned into a growing number of sightings and even captures of a forest phantom.

The wolverine is back, or maybe in it never left Washington state. The elusive predator was believed to have been poisoned and trapped into extinction in the state. But new sightings have wildlife groups optimistic it is reclaiming its place in the Cascades.

State Fish and Wildlife Biologist Scott Fitkin recently captured one he nicknamed 'Chewy.' He has released the first video of the wolverine, both in its trap and as it was released. It's hoped the animals are finding Washington state wilderness to their liking, but they may just be venturing down from Canada.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week deemed the wolverine a species deserving protection under the Endangered Species Act, but so far no date has been set for listing.

Click here to read more about Conservation Northwest's efforts to study and protect wolverines.

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