Hide Grandma! Wolf Confirmed in Upstate New York!
Some wildlife watchers in parts of New York State are vindicated as they are not a case of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf!” It really was a wolf.
The Associated Press reports that after New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officials maintained a large canine killed by a hunter in Otsego County last winter was probably a coyote or a coyote-mix, new information is confirming the animal was, indeed a wolf.
The D.E.C. is confirming that a review this week of DNA evidence contradicts the initial analysis that had come to the conclusion the big, dog-like animal was an Eastern Coyote.
The AP report cites 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 issue appears to be settled, it remains a mystery where the animal came from. Environmental experts speculate the wolf likely traveled from the Great Lakes area. However, there isn’t a known population of grey wolves to exist beyond Michigan.
There’s also the possibility someone was keeping it as an illegal pet and it escaped or was turned loose when it, like most wild animals people try to keep as pets, became too much to handle.
Earlier this year, experts reviewing the DNA from the hunter’s prize was that of a coyote, but samples were sent on to Princeton University which came to the conclusion the beast was likely a male wolf.
Like continued reports of cougar sightings in New York that come under insistence by wildlife experts that 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 are wolves in Upstate New York.
Wolves are believed to have been eradicated from the Northeast by the start of the 20th century as a result of shooting, trapping, poisoning and loss of habitat, with the gap filled by smaller coyotes which pawed its way in to fill the gap and are a fairly common sight darting in between corn stalks in fields in the Southern Tier of New York and Northern Tier of Pennsylvania.
advocates say wolves are in New York and New England and could be crossing over the frozen Saint Lawrence River while heading south from Canada.
If wolves are identified as being present in New York, officials would have to make provisions for a federal protected species.