Some animal watchers in parts of upstate New York are certified as is Not a case of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf!” It really was a wolf.
The Associated Press reports that after officials with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation found a large dog killed by a hunter in Otsego County last winter was likely a coyote or coyote mix, new information confirms the animal is in fact a wolf was.
The DEC confirms that a review this week of DNA evidence contradicts the first analysis that concluded the large, canine-like animal was an eastern coyote.
The AP report quotes environmental officials as saying this is only the third wolf identified in the wild in New York State in 25 years.
The wolf was killed last winter in Cherry Valley, about 40 miles west of Albany.
While the species question appears to have been resolved, where the animal came from remains a mystery. Environmental experts speculate that the wolf probably arrived from the Great Lakes area. However, there is no known gray wolf population outside of Michigan.
There is also a chance that someone kept it as an illegal pet and it escaped or was released when, like most wild animals that people try to keep as pets, it became too much to handle.
Earlier this year, experts checked Hunter Price’s DNA, which was that of a coyote, but samples were sent to Princeton University, which concluded the animal was likely a male wolf.
As persistent reports of puma sightings in New York have been insisted by wildlife experts that the big cats are long gone from the Empire State, residents continue to report seeing and hearing the eerie howling of wolves in upstate New York.
Wolves are believed to have been wiped out from the Northeast in the early 20th century as a result of gunshots, traps, poisoning, and habitat loss, with the gap being filled by smaller coyotes, who made their way into the gap and a quite a bit common sight darting back and forth between cornstalks in fields in New York’s southern tier and Pennsylvania’s northern tier.
Proponents say wolves are in New York and New England and could cross the frozen St. Lawrence River while migrating south from Canada.
If wolves are found in New York, officials would have to make provisions for a federally protected species.
APPEARANCE: Here are the pets that are banned in each state
With the regulation of exotic animals left to states, some organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, are pushing for federal legislation that would ban the ownership of big cats, bears, primates, and large venomous snakes as pets.
Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state as well as across the country.