April 14, 2017 / 10:34 AM / 3 months ago

Wintry wolverine has cub in Belgium, beating climate-change odds

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A young wolverine is pictured at wildlife park Domaine des Grottes de Han in Han-sur-Lesse, southern Belgium, April 12, 2017. Picture taken April 12, 2017.AKohler/Domaine des Grottes de Han/Handout via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The wolverine, a carnivore confined to colder climates since the last Ice Age, has re-established a tenuous foothold further south in a Belgian wildlife park.

A female cub of the species that also includes badgers and martens was born in February in the Domain of the Caves of Han park south of Brussels, finally emerging from its den this week, a park spokeswoman said.

Wolverines spread through Europe in prehistoric times but are now confined to Scandinavia and parts of Russia and North America. Conservationists have voiced concern that their habitats are shrinking further as global temperatures rise.

There are currently around 1,300 wolverines living in Europe, including 116 in 45 zoos and wildlife parks, the spokeswoman said.

The park plans to transfer the new arrival, who has yet to be named, to a zoo once she has reach reached maturity in about two years.

Reporting by Farah Salhi; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and editing by John Stonestreet

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