Grist brings attention to this surprising and sad mystery.
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.
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.