Tags: montana | dogman | gray wolf | wildlife

Montana 'Dogman' Is Merely an Ordinary Gray Wolf

Montana 'Dogman' Is Merely an Ordinary Gray Wolf
Montana wildlife officials confirm this animal shot in central Montana was actually a wolf with legs, front claws, and canine teeth were shorter and its ears bigger than normally seen on wolves. (Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks/AP)

By    |   Monday, 18 June 2018 06:44 PM

Mystery solved: An unusual-looking animal shot in central Montana that set off wild speculation of a possible "dogman" was an ordinary gray wolf.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials initially were puzzled about what the creature was when it was shot by a rancher in May, noting its legs, front claws and canine teeth were shorter and its ears were bigger than normally seen on wolves.

The agency announced Monday an inspection of the animal at its laboratory showed it was a relatively normal-looking wolf, and DNA tests confirmed it was a gray wolf.

Officials say the wolf was a 2- or 3-year-female with unique physical features.

"It's not that surprising," Ty Smucker, an FWP wolf management specialist, told the Great Falls Tribune. "It's either going to be a gray wolf or a dog."

Smucker told the outlet wolves travel great distances. According to the 2017 Montana Gray Wolf Program Annual Report, the state has about 900 wolves, the news outlet reported.

Still, the young female had social media going wild before the DNA results were in.

"That could very well be what's being called Dogman," one Facebook poster suggested. "They're spotted each day and the government quells any and all reports. Several people report being strong-armed into keeping quiet about their reports by men wearing black suits. These are just facts. Look into if you don't believe it."

Smucker said the speculation was wilder than the DNA results.

"The folks who shot it posted pictures on Facebook and then it just went bananas," Smucker told the Great Falls Tribune.

"It had been shot and it was in pretty rough shape," he added. "So, it was a little difficult to tell."

Physical variations are not unusual for animals, Mary Curtis, Fish and Wildlife Service geneticist, told the news outlet.

"Within species there can be variability – that's not surprising at all," she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The mysterious "dogman" shot in Montana has turned out to be an ordinary gray wolf, according to reports.
montana, dogman, gray wolf, wildlife
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2018-44-18
Monday, 18 June 2018 06:44 PM
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