A Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks press release tried to shed some light on a “large wolf-like animal” shot on May 16 by a rancher near Denton.
The rancher in question shot the animal as it approached his livestock—then reported it as required by Montana law—but now biologists are puzzling over what exactly the creature is.
Bruce Auchly, Information Manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said, “We have no idea what this was until we get a DNA report back. 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.”
The animal shares some characteristics of a wolf, to be sure: long grayish coat, large head, and an extended snout, but its legs and body were too short; even the teeth weren’t quite right, also being too short.
Many are speculating that it could be some sort of ‘cryptid’ or unknown animal that science hasn’t identified yet.
“Several things grabbed my attention when I saw the pictures. The ears are too big. The legs look a little short. The feet look a little small, and the coat looks weird. There’s just something off about it,” said Ty Smucker, wolf management specialist for Montana FWP.
The carcass has now been shipped to the labs at Bozeman to extract DNA samples which will then be sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lab in Ashland, Ore.
“We’ve had a few instances of wolf/dog hybrids out there. One was out somewhere in eastern central Montana killing sheep like crazy. Finally, we caught it and it turned out to be a hybrid,” Smucker also related.
It may take months to figure out exactly what this animal is, but as far as being the legendary Dogman or Dire wolf, we’ll let the proper authorities sort that out!
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