Wolverines are known for two traits: ferocity and secrecy. These incredible animals may seem small in size but they make up for that in attitude, able to use their strength, stamina and sharp claws to come out on top in a fight against predators much larger than themselves. But they are nearly impossible to spot in the wild. One aspect of their lives that had never before been seen on film is cubs at the den... until now.

Wolverine: Ghost of the Northern Forest - Baby Wolverine

WATCH THURSDAY AT 8 PM OR ONLINE: A wild baby wolverine. This is the first time this scene has EVER been caught on camera. For more on the secret lives of these small but mighty animals: http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes/wolverine-ghost-of-the-northern-forest

Posted by CBC Docs on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Filmmaker Andrew Manske spent five long years facing the elements to capture the wolverine on camera. CBC writes, "Seeking insights into wolverine behavior that might aid his efforts to film them, Manske meets researchers with The Wolverine Project. Led by biologists Dr. Mark Boyce and Matt Scrafford from the University of Alberta, it is the most wide-ranging study of wolverine ecology ever undertaken in North America. Boyce, a veteran wilderness scientist, is in awe of this animal."

In his work with the researchers, Manske uncovered behaviors that even the researchers were previously unaware of.

"[Scrafford] had known that wolverines were territorial and suspected that was to protect their mates and kits, but never had any evidence until seeing the males visit repeatedly at three different dens. 'I would not have really known that if Andrew hadn't set up all his cameras,' he said."

Manske also captured what he believes is a world first in wolverine footage: documenting wild wolverine kits. This scene shows a wolverine mother moving her kits to another den site.

"The researchers speculate F4 moved her kits to a drier den that day because the snow was melting into her den and could make her kits wet and cold and there were wolves and lynx near the area. We've seen this behaviour at another den in spring," he says in a comment about the video.

More footage of these amazing animals can be viewed in Wolverine: Ghost of the Northern Forest

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.