If there were a manual for airlines transporting the largest species of the weasel family, the legendarily vicious wolverine, Rule #1 would likely be: Make sure the wolverine cannot get out of the cage.
However, when a 40 lb. male wolverine named Kasper was changing planes at EWR while being shipped from a zoo in Norway to a conservation park in Alaska, his handler noticed something – the animal had chewed through its metal cage. Yes, metal cage.
“His head was sticking out," said Sarah Howard, a curator for the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, the wolverine's intended new home. She had flown to Newark to meet him.
The cage was made of metal, said Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport. “It's believed he chewed a hole in it."
With long, sharp teeth, wolverines, which look a little like small bears, have been known to kill animals many times their size, including caribou and white-tailed deer.
Kasper (The Friendly Wolverine?) remained in his cage, but Howard was alarmed. “She said it was growling and stuff like that, but maybe they do that all the time, walk around and make noise," said Mike Miller, Executive Director of the conservation centre.
A wildlife officer and a Port Authority police officer were summoned to Terminal C, where Kaspar was tranquillized and relocated to a more secure carrier.
The wolverine's reputation for ferocity and strength beyond its size inspired the fictional superhero "Wolverine" of the X-Men comic book and movie series.