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Swedish wolverine baby… or a vicious punk rock legend?

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Swedish wolverine baby… or a vicious punk rock legend?
Left, Sid. Right, Sid. Photo: Camilla Schratz/Nordens Ark/Jurek Holzer/SvD/Scanpix
15:27 CEST+02:00
He is six weeks old, weighs less than two kilos and is named after a British punk rocker. Meet Sid: the six-week-old wolverine baby who is warming hearts in Sweden.

The young wolverine cub, named after Sex Pistols rocker Sid Vicious, is so far staying as close to his mother as possible at the Nordens Ark Zoo in western Sweden. But from next month visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of Sid when he's allowed out to roam the enclosure.

"He is so far very small, he didn't even weigh two kilos when we had him wormed and chipped last Thursday," said Nordens Ark zoo keeper Camilla Schratz. 

"In four weeks, he's going to be wormed for the last time as a puppy and it won't be as easy then, he will have developed teeth and become a bit more unruly."

The original Sid Vicious, born John Simon Ritchie, was a bass guitarist, drummer and member of legendary punk rock band the Sex Pistols. However, he also gained notoriety for his use of drugs and the alleged murder of his girlfriend, eventually dying of a heroin overdose in 1979, aged only 21.

One would hope that Sid-the-wolverine does not meet the same tragic end, but Schratz nonetheless says there is still a bit of the old rocker in the heap of fluffy cuteness melting zoo keepers' hearts at Nordens Ark.

"I don't think there is any other animal on the planet that's more rock 'n' roll than wolverines," said his carer Camilla Schratz. "They are tough, robust, hardy, loud, make a lot of noise when they fight and are real survivors."

There are around 600-800 wild wolverines in Sweden, according to the Swedish Carnivore Association (Svenska rovdjursföreningen). And although they may look sweet and cuddly, they are incredibly strong and are able to kill prey several times their size.

Wolverine mothers, it turns out, live up to the species' reputation for ferocity. While Sid is the only baby in his pack today, it is not known whether or not he had any siblings at the time of birth.

"Often the bitch gives birth inside the den and we don't see them," said Schratz. "If anyone is stillborn or dies during the first days, the puppies soon disappear – that is they eat them if they are dead."

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