wolf 300HART COUNTY, Ky. (8/14/13) – Over the past few years, there have been reports, some with actual proof, of animals that are not indigenous to the state of Kentucky that are  moving into the area. Some have been suspected to have been brought in by people.
As for those that have been proven to have been spotted, there are wild hogs, armadillos, and lately the black bears spotted in various locations in Western Kentucky. Now, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed a new breed of creature that has somehow gotten into the state.
Federal officials have confirmed that an animal taken by a hunter near Munfordville in Hart County, KY 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.
J.L. Graham
SurfKY News
Information provided 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.

1 DOW 17,813.39
0.00 (0.00%)    
2 S&P 2,088.87
0.00 (0.00%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,116.14
0.00 (0.00%)    

Stock Report Sponsored by

In Other News...

Man Hospitalized after Early Morning Car Accident

BEAVER DAM, Ky. (11/25/15) — An Owensboro man was taken to the hospital after a car accident early last Sunday morning.… Read More

Most Read This Week

November 24, 2015 9827

Distillery to Operate in Old Graham School…

by SurfKY News
November 21, 2015 8679

Injuries Result from Beulah Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
November 23, 2015 7502

Relative Charged with Murder, Arson in Deaths of…

by SurfKY News
November 24, 2015 4470

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 24

by SurfKY News
November 24, 2015 3152

Man Injured When Vehicle Collides with Deer

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

November 17, 2015 15485

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 17

by SurfKY News
November 18, 2015 14384

Runaway Teen Returns on His Own

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

November 25, 2015 2117

Man Hospitalized after Early Morning Car Accident

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 1566

Muhlenberg Sheriff's Office Makes Cocaine Bust

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 1130

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores…

by SurfKY News
November 25, 2015 806

Thanksgiving is Peak Day for Cooking Fires

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 561

Hopkins County Warriors Go to National…

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 440

Beauty of Western Kentucky Autumn Wilderness…

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 402

American Medical Association Wants to Ban Ads for…

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 351

Grapevine Church Offering Interactive 'Miracle of…

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 334

Pet of the Day - Jewel

by SurfKY News