Wolf killed in Kentucky

Grist brings attention to this surprising and sad mystery.

Hunter shoots the first endangered wolf seen in Kentucky in 150 years | Grist.

The man thought it was a dog and was obviously surprised. However, he seems a bit more proud than I would be. It’s a beautiful creature.

Yes, it was a wolf, in Kentucky | James Bruggers – Watchdog Earth.

The first documented free-ranging wolf in Kentucky’s modern history was shot and killed by an unsuspecting hunter, state wildlife officials have announced.

No charges are expected to be brought because there’s no reason for any hunter to expect a wolf to be in the state, since they haven’t been here for more than a century, according to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

The shooting took place in March. The man had previously killed a coyote on his site but noticed how much larger this one was. The animal was 73 lbs. DNA testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Wildlife Research Center showed that the animal indeed was a grey wolf, a federally endangered species.

The genetic makeup resembling wolves native to the Great Lakes Region. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Oregon confirmed the finding.

It is a mystery how the animal got there. There is no mention of other sightings but a suggestions that the animal may have been living in captivity due to the plaque on the teeth. That’s not a guarantee though. Wolf recovery in the US is doing well. Perhaps this critter just wandered very far. Does this mean more are around? Hard to say.


  13 comments for “Wolf killed in Kentucky

  1. Barn
    August 30, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Out here in the Western U.S., wolf reintroduction isn’t always viewed favorably. Recently two wolves killed 176 sheep on a ranch in Idaho — for the fun of it — and wolf-protection measures have made it more difficult for ranchers to protect their flocks and herds. Wolf recovery in the U.S. may be “doing well,” but isn’t always “doing good.”

  2. Chris Howard
    August 30, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    We had lots of them around in Southern Indiana, when I was a kid. I’m guessing there are more out there in Kentucky.

  3. One Eyed Jack
    August 30, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Purdue University (go Boilermakers!) maintains a research wolf park near Lafayette, Indiana, about 3 hours from the IN/KY border. That is another possible source, but I imagine they keep pretty close track of their wolves.


  4. Chris Howard
    August 30, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Yeah. I had forgotten about that research pack. My sister went to Purdue, and she knew a few people who had some video footage. It’s pretty cool stuff. All the other siblings went to Hanover, or Ball State.

    I remember the debates surrounding the hunting of wolves. It was the only time you’d see hunters, farmers, and environmentalist in the same room together back in the mid 70’s to early 80’s.

  5. August 30, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    “The shooting took place in March. The man had previously killed a coyote on his site ”

    What does this guy do, shoot all his neighbors dogs if they cross his lawn?

  6. August 30, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Take away his gun! He can’t tell the difference between a German Shepherd and a Coyote or was it not being able to tell the difference between a wolf and a coyote? I guess with federal enforcement like this that gray wolves won’t be back in KY anytime soon.

  7. Barn
    August 30, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    How did a German Shepherd get added to this discussion? He killed a coyote and he killed a wolf. Don’t remember anything about him killing a dog.

  8. August 30, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    My mistake. In the original article the “officials” thought it was a german shepherd. The pick looks somewhat like one but I wonder if they got this idea from the shooter as well since you can’t usually tell species directly from a pic as many bigfoot photos prove.

  9. Todd Sikkema
    August 30, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Haven’t heard of any reports of wolves roaming from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula through the southern part of the state, so I’m not sure where it might have come from. Maybe Minnesota through Wisconsin through Illinois? Seems like it would have been spotted somewhere along the way. My money is on a captive that escaped or was let go. Either way it’s sad.

  10. Todd Sikkema
    August 30, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Just wanted to add that there are a lot of stories around of wolves in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, etc. but no reliable, verifiable reports. There was a dead gray wolf found in Indiana a few years ago that had been tagged in Wisconsin, but it turned out that someone had killed the wolf in WI and dumped it in Indiana (I’ll see if I can find a legit source for that). Coyotes these days are everywhere; the ones I see around SW Michigan are healthy and big, like coyotes on steroids. It’s not much of a stretch that someone could mistake one for a wolf.

    There are also claims that states are secretly introducing wolves to cull deer populations. I think that is unlikely. 🙂

  11. skaizun
    August 30, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    The presence of plaque means only that the critter has been exposed to human food, such as trash. It does not, necessarily, mean it was kept as a pet.

  12. December 19, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Exactly!!! His blood thirsty shooting habits disgusts me!!

  13. December 19, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    The Shooter is a DISGRACE to Humanity!!! I guess he thinks he’s cool with blood all over his shoes and a Bluetooth hanging out his ear!! OMG!!

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