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.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
1 DOW 18,010.68
-115.44 (-0.64%)    
2 S&P 2,107.39
-13.40 (-0.63%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,070.03
-27.95 (-0.55%)    
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

May 27, 2015 7027

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 5602

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 3949

Can Sunscreen Save Your Life?

by Melissa Patrick
May 27, 2015 3869

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 3238

Mandarin House Gearing Up to Open Soon

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 11058

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 8242

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 29, 2015 1144

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

by SurfKY News
May 29, 2015 982

Two Hopkins Countians to Receive MERR Scholarships

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 29, 2015 731

KSP Seeks Public Help in Locating Wanted Man

by SurfKY News
May 29, 2015 666

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
May 29, 2015 398

NCM Motorsports Park Breaks Ground on Holley…

by National Corvette Museum
May 29, 2015 381

Blessing of the Bikes

by SurfKY News
May 29, 2015 370

Market Commentary - May 29, 2015

by Randall L. Franklin
May 29, 2015 341

Boyd Advances to Eugene in Close Call at NCAA…

by UK Athletics