DENTON, Mont. -A large wolf-like animal was shot and killed May 16 by a rancher near Denton, Montana. It now has wildlife officials and the public wondering what it was, according to KFBB.
The animal came within several hundred yards of the rancher’s livestock. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) said in a statement the rancher shot it and reported it as required by law. The animal was a young, non-lactating female and a canid, a member of the dog family, which includes dogs, foxes, coyotes, and wolves.
The animal originally was reported as a wolf by the rancher, but wolf specialists looked at photos of the animal and doubted it was a purebred wolf.
The statement released by FWP says the canine teeth were too short, the front paws too small and the claws on the front paw were too long.
FWP has since sent the carcass to the Department’s lab in Bozeman where tissue samples will be collected, then shipped to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Laboratory in Ashland, Org.
The process of this DNA testing can take a week, but they do not know how long it will take depending on the lab's backlog of cases.