What was 'mysterious wolf-like hybrid' killed in Montana? A wolf

Rodiano Bonacci
Giugno 19, 2018

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service forensic laboratory in Ashland has identified a mysterious wolf-like creature killed in Montana in May as a gray wolf. Officials confirmed in a news release Monday that DNA results proved the animal was a gray wolf.

The odd and confusing "creature" that was shot in rural Montana about a month ago turned out to be just a regular, old grey wolf.

After the animal was killed several wolf experts looked at the photos and "collectively doubted it was a purebred wolf: The canine teeth were too short, the front paws too small and the claws on the front paw were too long". "The conclusion was clear - this animal is a gray wolf from the northern Rocky Mountains", the statement read.

Confusion about the animal might be due to the condition of the animal and the photos, which seemed to show short legs and big ears.

Wildlife officials in Montana sent some DNA to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service forensic laboratory in Ashland, Oregon, and researchers there compared the sample to thousands of other samples from wolves, coyotes and dogs. Inspection of the animal at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife health lab in Bozeman revealed a relatively normal looking, dark brown wolf.

The dead wolf was a non-lactating female (so not a mother), but wildlife researchers added that her physical traits would likely be shared by her siblings and parents - and might even continue to be passed down to future generations. It's estimated that the wolf was between 2 and 3 years old. The wolf measured 45 inches from the tip of the nose to the rump and weighed 84.5 pounds.

Wolves are fairly common in Montana. Ranchers are allowed to shoot wolves that they believe are a threat to livestock.

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