A strange canine was shot by a rancher in Montana, USA after coming too close to his cattle. The killing was reported to the relevant authorities, in accordance with local law, however, a surprise awaited the FWP staff (Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks) upon receipt of the photos of the animal.
Neither dog nor wolf, but perhaps both
Although wolves are common to the region, specialists have found it difficult to identify the creature slaughtered by the breeder. ‘Something was wrong with this animal’ explained one of the spokespeople for the department. ‘It does not look like a wild wolf. The legs of this young female turned out to be too small to belong to a wolf, her teeth are too short, her ears are too big and her claws are too long.’
The most likely hypothesis is that it is a hybrid between a wolf and a coyote, also present in the area, or a dog, as the FWP experts presume. Of course, internet users did not wait for the verdict to propose more fantastic hypotheses. The genetic analysis of the animal will tell us more, but we are willing to bet that it is not a werewolf.
Hybrids abandoned in nature
Although cases of hybridisation can be found in nature, despite the territorial nature of wolves, it is possible that this animal is the result of a voluntary hybridisation. Normally, these animals are registered and tattooed because they can be unpredictable, but according to the FWP, everyone does not seem to respect the regulations to the letter.
‘Every year, thousands of domestic wolves or hybrids are abandoned, saved or euthanised because people who buy them realise that they cannot handle them properly,’ says the International Wolf Centre on its website. This young female shot for being too close to a ranch could simply have been neglected by her former masters.
‘People should be educated about the behaviour, health, and containment of wolves and hybrids, and the laws governing their possession before taking the initiative to adopt them; this could ensure that many problems for both humans and animals are avoided. As the philosopher said, ’Man is wolf to man.’