Andrew Manske's determination to capture HD footage of the elusive wolverine literally brought him face-to-face with the ferocious beast.
Hiding in a blind in northern Alberta last winter, the filmmaker spent 72-hour shifts over eight days trying to capture Logan, a giant male wolverine, in his element.
Suddenly the animal, "like a grizzly bear, bounding through the snow," charged the blind where Manske was camping, he told CBC's As It Happens.
The wolverine stopped at the blind's peephole and looked Manske directly in the eye.
“He was looking through the blind, right at my face and I was thinking, ‘He might come right in here! What am I going to do if he comes in here?’ He could just dive right through the window and attack me. I don’t know, it’s a wolverine,” he told the Edmonton Journal, laughing.
“I was shaking with adrenalin.”
The encounter, while slightly terrifying, was just another day on the job for Manske who, for the past three years has been attempting to capture the first HD footage of the notoriously vicious animals.
He started out asking trappers in the area, who reported wolverines interfering with their traps, if he could set up cameras on the trap lines, he told CBC.
From there, he began to use the blind which also allows him to watch the wolverines with his own eyes.
He doesn't light a fire, only brings pre-cooked food and bottles his urine, to hide his human scent. Every three days he'll head back to camp to recharge his camera batteries.
Manske told the CBC he's captured hours of wolverine footage as they climb trees, dismantle animal carcasses and play in the snow.
Some of the footage will be used in The Nature of Things' Wild Canada series, airing next spring, which chronicles the regrowth of life in northern Canada following the last ice age, 15,000 years ago.
According to the Edmonton Journal, Mankse and his company Compass Media took home an Emmy last month for footage they shot for National Geographic's Untamed America.
Manske, in his interview with CBC, said he's thrilled to work alongside wolverines and educate people about the elusive species.
"When I tell people these animals really exist, they're often surprised," he said, noting many people only consider Marvel's comic book character, The Wolverine.
Manske told the Journal that while the Emmy win feels great, nothing compares to filming wolverines.
“It’s great to have a trophy for the trophy shelf. But to see wolverines in the wild is extremely rare. To have one four feet away from you, doesn’t even know you’re there, that feels once in a lifetime.”
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