'Wolf-like' animal shot in Montana sent to Oregon for DNA tests
A large, wolf-like animal was shot and killed last month in Montana, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife lab in Ashland, Oregon is helping determine what it was.
A rancher reported shooting the animal on May 16 near the town of Denton when it came within several hundred yards of his livestock. He reported it as a wolf, but specialists with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks said they were skeptical 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,” authorities said in a release. “Nevertheless, social media was quick to pronounce the animal as everything from a wolf to a wolf hybrid to something mythical.”
To clear up the confusion, wildlife officials sent the animal carcass to its lab in Bozeman, Mont., and after taking tissue samples they shipped it to the USFWS laboratory in Ashland.
Scientists will take DNA from the animal and try to trace markers to different species. In late May, officials said that process could take weeks or months.
So far, they know that the animal was a young, non-lactating female and a canid - a member of the dog family, which includes dogs, foxes, coyotes and wolves.
For those who might be leaning towards werewolf, the animal was shot two weeks before the next full moon.
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