Mystery Dog-Wolf Hybrid Solved: It’s a Wolf

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No, it is not a chupacabra. DNA testing conducted by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) forensic laboratory indicates a strange-looking canine creature shot and killed by a rancher in central Montana is actually a gray wolf from the northern Rocky Mountains.

Photos and the poor condition of the animal seemed to show it with short legs and large ears, however physical variations are not unusual for animals.

“Within species there can be variability that’s not surprising at all,” said Mary Curtis, USFWS geneticist.

The wolf was a non-lactating female, which means she didn’t have a litter of pups. However, any unique physical features she has might also appear in her siblings or parents and may continue to be passed along by others in her family. The wolf measured 45 inches from the tip of the nose to the rump and weighed 84.5 pounds. It’s estimated that the wolf was between 2 and 3 years old.

(Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)