MDC conducting DNA test to determine if killed animal is a wolf

Dec 18, 2013

 

Scientists with the Missouri Department of Conservation are conducting DNA tests to determine whether this canid, shot and killed in Wayne County, is a wolf.
Scientists with the Missouri Department of Conservation are conducting DNA tests to determine whether this canid, shot and killed in Wayne County, is a wolf.
Credit Courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation

The animal shot and killed by a hunter last month was a canine, wandered the woods and showed no signs of escape from captivity. But was it a wolf?

Scientists with the Missouri Department of Conservation are using DNA testing to find out.

The 80-pound female, believed to be about 2 years old, was shot by a landowner on his property in southeast Missouri's Wayne County. The hunter realized after the shooting it might be a wolf — a federally protected animal that cannot be hunted. He turned it over to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The DNA testing will determine if the animal was a wolf, a coyote, a dog or something known as a wolf hybrid, the offspring of a wolf and a dog.