HOWL Colorado

Ohio “wolf” thought to be escaped wolf-hybrid pet

[large thumbnail url=”ohio-wolf-thought-to-be-escaped-wolf-hybrid-pet” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”03″ day=”29″] [thumbnail icon url=”ohio-wolf-thought-to-be-escaped-wolf-hybrid-pet” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”03″ day=”29″] After shooting the largest animal in what a local resident thought was a group of coyotes, it became clear the animal was not a coyote… but it likely wasn’t truly a wolf either.

Some Ohio residents believed that wolves had moved in to their neighborhood. 

There were many reports of a small wolf pack being sighted in a 20 mile range. However, there are not currently thought to be any wolves in the state.

One local resident, Dusty Gore, saw three animals which he thought were coyotes near a school on March 15. As coyotes are not overly popular in the area, he grabbed a rifle and shot the biggest of the three. The other two animals ran away.

Closer inspection of the animal he shot revealed it to be upwards of 120 lbs. Much too large to be a coyote. Thus started speculation that wolves may have migrated in to Ohio from neighboring states.

While the animal is close enough to a wolf as to be nearly indistinguishable barring genetic testing, local wildlife officials believe that the animal was a pet which had escaped. Not your typical dog, but instead a wolf-hybrid – which are apparantly not uncommon in the state. The last wolf in Ohio was killed more than 150 years ago.  

Escaped wolf-hybrids are the responsibility of law enforcement officers and animal control. Wolves would be the responsibility of the Division of Wildlife. There appears to be no real plans on how to deal with capturing wolf-hybrids, or how to determine whether an animal is a migrating wolf. As proven by this evidence, it is hard enough to distinguish at distance between a wolf and a coyote. A wolf and a wolf-hybrid would be a real problem.

Wolves are not protected in Ohio, so there is no legal penalty for unintentionally, or intentionally shooting a wolf which has entered the state.

Of course, there is some fear mongering occuring even with the animal being proven not to be a wolf.

One outdoor sport website suggested that “like feral pigs, they could breed in the wild and increase in number.”  

HOWLColorado does not believe that untrained individuals without the correct facilities should own wolf-hybrids. Wolf-hybrids should not be bred or sold as pets. They are notoriously difficult to train, and your furniture, clothing, carpet, walls and floor can easily pay the price for owning such a pet. They then get turned in as unmanageable and wolf-hybrids are typically killed immediately in animal shelters.

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