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Wild Thursday: Takes on two Illinois wolves?

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The consensus is in about the two possible wolves in Illinois: Likely for the trail cam while the shot one is more likely a hybrid.


A trail cam captured the one above in the Oregon, Ill. area on March 9.

That's about the same time as the canine below was shot near Walnut, Ill.


In tracking down the story, I talked with many people, but of particular note were Illinois regional wildlife biologist Tom Beissel and Wisconsin's wolf expert, Adrian P. Wydeven

Beissel thought the trail cam photo appeared to be a wolf, while the size of the shot canine (I was told 140 pounds) makes it more likely a hybrid.

Here's what Wydeven noted:

Looks pretty wolf-like to me. Feet look a little small and legs look a little short, but might just be the angle. What was the location of this animal?

The shot canid does look somewhat wolf-like, but from what I can see, it might be a hybrid. Of ~500 wolves captured & handled in WI we have had only 2 weighing > 100 lbs. One was 102 lbs, and one was 108 lbs. If this shot wolf really weighed 140 lbs, I would guess it to be a hybrid. Young dispersing wolves generally weight 60-80lbs.

He also sought the advice of other wolf people in Wisconsin. Here's Dick Thiel's take:

The cudde pix looks like wolf. The pix of dead wolf from newspaper looks like either shepard mix or hybrid wolf-dog. Wasn't able to ascertain whether these 2 pix are of same animal, but they look different individuals to me.

I think that point is important to make: the trail cam and shot canines are different.

Here's Ron Schultz's take:

I am not sure if it is a wolf, the markings, ears and snout look hybrid like, DNA test should answer that question?

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on March 18, 2010 9:08 AM.

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