[image credit BBC Nature]
A quick blurb in the March/April 2013 issue of Sierra, the official magazine of the Sierra Club, tells us:
The pine marten, thought for 40 years to be extinct in much of Great Britain, is proved to still exist after one is killed by a car in Wales.
So I went to Google to read more, and find out that apparently there have been many recent reports of sightings for the past several years (indicating the Sierra Club news is kinda dated). Makes me think of cougar sightings here in the northeast.
To clarify, apparently a population of martens in Scotland is well known, but the critter was thought to be extinct in Wales and England.
Regardless, any time a species thought to be locally or regionally extinct turns out to be alive and well, that indeed is a cause for celebration. Especially when the critter in question looks like an adorable cross between a cat and a fox.
FYI, the European pine marten is Martes martes; the one in North America is Martes americana, shown below.
[image credit Nature Conservancy]
These critters have been occasionally seen in mountains of my local area. My Ultrarunning life would be complete if I'd chance upon one in the backcountry.
Up to now the most exotic animals I've encountered are bears (several times), a beaver, and once, a bobcat.