An animal killed in Otsego County is a wolf

Some wildlife watchers in parts of New York State are justified as they are not a case of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf!” It really is has been a wolf.

The Associated Press reports that after New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officials argued that a large dog killed by a hunter in Otsego County last winter was likely a coyote or a coyote mix, new information confirms that the animal was indeed a wolf.

The DEC confirms that a review this week of DNA evidence contradicts the initial analysis that concluded the large dog-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 in Cherry Valley, about 40 miles west of Albany last winter.

While the species question seems to be settled, it remains a mystery where the animal came from. Environmental experts believe the wolf likely traveled from the Great Lakes region. However, there is no known population of gray wolves beyond Michigan.

There is also the possibility that someone was keeping him as an illegal pet and he escaped or escaped when, like most wild animals that people try to keep as pets, he became too much to handle.

Earlier this year, experts examining the hunter prize’s DNA was that of a coyote, but samples were sent to Princeton University which concluded the beast was likely a male wolf.

As ongoing reports of cougar sightings in New York City insist the big cats are long gone from the Empire State, residents have continued to report seeing and hearing the eerie howl of what they believe to be wolves in upstate New York.

Wolves are believed to have been eradicated from the Northeast in the early 20th century through shooting, trapping, poisoning and habitat loss, with the void being filled by smaller coyotes that spawned way to fill the gap and are a fairly common sight between corn stalks in fields in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania.
Advocates say the wolves are in New York and New England and could cross the frozen St. Lawrence River heading south from Canada.

If wolves are identified as being present in New York, authorities should arrange for a federally protected species.

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