An enigmatic incident has been baffling US authorities in the state of Montana: In mid-May, a farmer near the small town of Denton shot and killed a wolf approaching his farm. That would not be unusual in the area. However, it turned out to stranger than anyone expected: The killed predator is not a wolf – but what then could it be? Researchers and US authorities are struggling to answer this question.
Summoned experts could not make a clear assignment, the media reported. Although the animal is reminiscent of a wolf, its teeth and forepaws are far too small, but the claws and ears are abnormally large, said officials from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
“We have no idea what animal it is, only the results of genetic testing can show that,” said spokesman Bruce Auchly to the Great Falls Tribune.
At present, it is only clear that it is a young female specimen that probably belongs to the Canidae family. These include foxes, jackals, coyotes, wolves and domestic dogs. It could conceivably be a hybrid, Auchly said. The genetic adjustment should also bring inter-species breeding to light. Experts expect the first answers from the lab over the next week. Self-proclaimed biologists, pseudo-scientists, and conspiracy theorists, of course, do not want to wait that long: social media has since been buzzing with rumors and claims – ranging from werewolf speculations, to cryptozoological claims, to assumptions about secret US government breeding programs. Until scientists can clear up the curious case, the mystery of the “creature of Montana” will continue cheerfully.