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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

Mystery wolf-like creature shot dead in US leaves experts scratching their heads as to its identity

The dead animal has led to some slightly bizarre social media musings as to its species.

4 The unidentified wolf-like animal, shot dead near Denton, Montana, 10 days ago Source: Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

A MYSTERIOUS WOLF/DOG animal, shot dead on a ranch in the US state of Montana, has left experts scratching their heads as to what manner of beast it actually is.

The large animal was shot and killed by a rancher near the town of Denton on 16 May.

The rancher killed the animal as it had encroached within sight of his livestock. He then reported the incident as required by law.

The animal was originally reported as a wolf, but several experts doubt it was a purebred animal.

3 Source: Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

Now, some rather-more-bizarre theories regarding the animal has emerged, from the theory that it’s evidence of the existence of werewolves, to the suggestion that it’s a direwolf (a mythical super-wolf from the fictional world of Game of Thrones).

“Rather than guess, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) sent the carcass to the department’s lab in Bozeman where tissue samples will be collected, then shipped to the US Fish and Wildlife Service Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon,” FWP said in a statement.

While the process may take a week, just getting to that stage may take weeks or months, depending on the laboratory’s backlog of cases.

1 Source: Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

“All of which means it may be awhile before the anyone really knows what the animal near Denton really was,” a spokesman added.

“Several things grabbed my attention when I saw the pictures,” Ty Smucker, wolf management specialist for FWP, told local newspaper the Great Falls Tribune.

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,” he said.

2 Source: Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

However, when it was raised with him that the animal might in fact be a direwolf, his reply was an amused one.

“First off Dire Wolf was a song by the Grateful Dead from 1971,” he said.

I know, I listened to it many times. Number two, it’s a prehistoric animal, like mastodons and sabre-toothed tigers, so it doesn’t exist.

Oh well.

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