Saturday, June 9, 2018

Strange wolf-like animal killed in Montana

I do think that the best bet here is that this is a dog-wolf hybrid.  We have ample variation among our dog breeds to supply the rest and it does show us how breeding with wolves can produce a whole palette of oddities that can then be bred up into unique breeds of near wolves.

I think we already knew that but had never wanted to do this.  It also informs us that those oddities out there, or some of them could well be coyote or wolf-dog hybrids.  This can produce a whole slew of variations not easily recognized.

After a century and a half, there has been ample opportunity and today we also have slight pressure from human hunting as well Add in that wolves and coyotes have themselves slowly integrated into the human landscape and the opportunities expand exponentially.

Strange wolf-like animal killed in Montana puzzles wildlife officials

May 25th

A rancher in Montana reported shooting a wild animal that has wildlife officials wondering what it was . (KXLO-Radio)

A large wolf-like animal shot and killed in Montana has wildlife officials and social media wondering what it was.

By Robert Gearty | Fox News

A rancher shot the gray-haired beast on May 16 when it ventured too close to his livestock in Denton. The rancher reported that he killed a wolf but wolf specialists looked at photos of the animal and doubted it was a purebred wolf, ABCFoxMontana reported.

"We have no idea what it was," Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Bruce Auchly said. (Montana FWP)

“The canine teeth were too shot, the front paws too small and claws on the front paw were too long,” Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Bruce Auchly said in a news release Thursday.

“Nevertheless, social media was quick to pronounce the animal as everything from a wolf to a wolf hybrid to something mythical," he said.

This animal was killed May 16 when it came within several hundred yards of a rancher’s livestock. (Montana FWP)

The Great Falls Tribune also reported that the animal shared many characteristics of a wolf but that its large ears, short legs and body and its fur stood it apart.

“We have no idea what this was until we get a DNA report back,” Auchly told the paper. “It was near a rancher's place, it was shot, and our game wardens went to investigate. The whole animal was sent to our lab in Bozeman. That's the last I ever heard of it.”

Montana wildlife officials said the front paws of the animal were too small to be a pure-bred wolf (Montana FWP)

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