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.

1 DOW 17,730.11
-27.80 (-0.16%)    
2 S&P 2,076.78
-0.64 (-0.03%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,009.21
0.00 (0.00%)    

Most Read This Week

July 02, 2015 14436

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 02, 2015 6655

Police: Stand Off Suspect in Critical Condition

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 29, 2015 5111

UPDATE: Victim of Home Invasion/Homicide Died of…

by SurfKY News
June 29, 2015 3887

Accused Synthetic Marijuana Traffickers Appear in…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 28, 2015 3614

'Curb Service’ at Local Eatery Ends with DUI…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

June 24, 2015 45275

Western Kentucky, Southern Indiana's Largest…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 02, 2015 14436

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 03, 2015 2607

KMA Reminds Motorist of New Kentucky Red Light Law

by David Holt
July 03, 2015 981

Planning Commission Approves Re-zoning…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 03, 2015 884

UPDATE - Suspicious Package under Investigation

by SurfKY News
July 03, 2015 832

County Clerk Warns of Telephone Scam in Hopkins…

by Keenan Cloern
July 03, 2015 724

States Where Motorcycles Can Run Red Lights…

by Michelle Megna
July 03, 2015 451

Pet of the Day

by Natalie Ostrander
July 03, 2015 303

Kentucky Lottery Results for Thursday July 2, 2015

by Kentucky Lottery
July 03, 2015 289

Central City All Stars Top Bremen All Stars 8-5

by Mike Groves, SurfKY News
July 03, 2015 281

Beechmont All Stars Defeat Auburn All Stars 10-2

by Mike Groves, SurfKY News
July 03, 2015 254

Two Councilmen Oppose Budget Amendment Nixing…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News