A Montana rancher shot and killed a wolf-like animal that was threatening his livestock last month, and officials are still trying to determine the animal’s species. The animal’s canine teeth were too short and the front paws too tiny for a wolf, and the claws were too long. The ears were also too big and the coat was wrong for a wolf.
What officials have determined is the animal was a non-lactating female and a canid, or member of the dog family, which includes dogs, foxes, coyotes and wolves.
“We have no idea what it is," Bruce Auchly, information manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said. “And we won’t until we get the DNA tests back.”
The animal was shot on a ranch outside Denton on May 16. It has long grayish fur, a large head and a snout, but its legs and body were too short to be a wolf.
“The animal came within several hundred yards of the rancher’s livestock,” The Montana FWP said in a statement. “He shot it and reported it as required by law.”
The DNA process may take weeks or even months for the laboratory to identify the animal, Montana FWP said.