Large Wolf-Like Canine Shot in Montana
Russ Chastain 05.29.18
A BBC article even said, “Bizarre theories have circulated online that it could be a werewolf, a young grizzly bear, or a relative of Bigfoot.”
A large wolf-like animal shot and killed May 16 by a rancher near Denton has wildlife officials and the public wondering what it was.
Here’s what is not in question: The animal came within several hundred yards of the rancher’s livestock. He shot it and reported it as required by law. The animal was a young, non-lactating female and a canid, a member of the dog family, which includes dogs, foxes, coyotes and wolves.
Those facts are not unusual in Montana’s farm and ranch county.
Although it was initially reported to be a wolf, it lacks a number of wolf traits and is most likely a cross-breed of some sort.
[S]everal Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ wolf specialists looked at photos of the animal 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.
Instead of making assumptions, it was decided they’d take tissue samples from the formerly-fearsome critter and send them off for DNA testing.
In a laboratory, scientists extract DNA from cells, looking for markers specific to individual species. Those markers are then compared to samples of known species on hand.
I think it’s most likely a cross between a wolf and a wild dog. Do you agree?