wkoutdoors d 300WESTERN KY (9/6/13) – Federal officials recently confirmed that an animal taken by a hunter near Munfordville in Hart County on March 16 is a gray wolf.
    
A DNA analysis performed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Wildlife Research Center in Colorado determined the 73-pound animal was a federally endangered gray wolf with a genetic makeup resembling wolves native to the Great Lakes Region. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Oregon confirmed the finding.
    
How the wolf found its way to a Munfordville hay ridge at daybreak in March remains a mystery. Wolves have been gone from the state since the mid-1800s.
    
Great Lakes Region wolf biologists said the animal's dental characteristics - a large amount of plaque on its teeth - suggest it may have spent some time in captivity. A largely carnivorous diet requiring the crushing of bone as they eat produces much less plaque on the teeth of wild wolves.
    
Hart County resident James Troyer took the animal with a shot from 100 yards away while predator hunting on his family's farm. Troyer, 31, said he had taken a coyote off the property just two weeks earlier.
    
But when he approached the downed animal he noticed it was much larger. "I was like - wow - that thing was big!" he recalled. "It looked like a wolf, but who is going to believe I shot a wolf?"
    
Because a free-ranging wolf has not been seen in the state for more than a century, biologists were skeptical at first. However, wildlife officials were aware that a few radio-collared northern wolves have wandered as far south as Missouri in the past decade.
    
Wolves resemble coyotes, except they are much larger. From a distance, the size difference is difficult to determine.
    
Troyer convinced Kevin Raymond, a wildlife biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, to look at the animal. Once Raymond saw the animal was twice the size of a coyote, he contacted furbearer biologist Laura Patton, who submitted samples to federal officials for DNA testing.
    
Because state and federal laws prohibit the possession, importation into Kentucky or hunting of gray wolves, federal officials took possession of the pelt. Since this is the first free-ranging gray wolf documented in Kentucky's modern history, federal or state charges are not expected because there were no prior biological expectations for any hunter to encounter a wolf. Visit the WK Outdoors website at www.wkoutdoors.com.

WK Outdoors
Information provided by Seth Stewart (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife)

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
1 DOW 18,074.27
+62.33 (0.35%)    
2 S&P 2,112.20
+2.60 (0.12%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,091.95
+15.43 (0.30%)    
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

May 30, 2015 7302

Study of Virus Attack on Cancer Sees Success

by Julie Heflin
May 28, 2015 6608

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 2845

Greenville Man Charged with Rockport Robbery,…

by SurfKY News
May 29, 2015 2510

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

by SurfKY News
May 29, 2015 2473

KSP Seeks Public Help in Locating Wanted Man

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 11369

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 9566

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

June 02, 2015 1866

Woman Charged with Falsely Reporting Kidnapping

by SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1677

Traffic Signal at Intersection in Downtown…

by Keith Todd
June 02, 2015 1631

Two Muhlenberg Women Injured in Collision

by SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1503

Juveniles Accused of Falsely Reporting Masked…

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
June 02, 2015 1255

South Main Accident Slows Northbound Traffic

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1236

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

by SurfKY News
June 01, 2015 1234

Human Relations Coordinator Identifies Possible…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 1054

Pennyrile Soap Box Derby Hosts 34 Competitors

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 02, 2015 992

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
June 01, 2015 574

Community Breaks Ground for First United Bank…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News