GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A large wolf-like animal shot and killed by a rancher near Denton, Montana, has left wildlife officials puzzled over what it was.
A rancher shot and killed the animal May 16 after it came within several hundred yards of his livestock, according to KRTV. He reported it to wildlife officials, as required by law.
The animal was first believed to be a wolf, but when specialists with Montana, Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) examined the animal, they doubted it was purebred.
The animal had long greyish fur that is uncharacteristic of a common wolf, with a short body, large head and extended snout, experts told the Great Falls Tribune. In addition, its ears were too large and the claws on the front paws were too long to be a wolf.
Officials with FWP told KRTV that they do not want to speculate on what it was. The animal carcass will be shipped to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service laboratory in Ashland, Oregon for further testing.
People on social media have been calling this creature everything from a wolf-hybrid to a werewolf.
The North American Dogman Project, a group of volunteer researchers that tracks sightings of mysterious wolflike creatures across the United States, posted a photo of the Montana animal on its Twitter page.
Cox Media Group