This blog covers some strange topics. From UFOs to the Loch Ness Monster, the Science Everywhere blog doesn’t shy away from the fringe topics of the scientific world. It also doesn’t shy away from using obviously exaggerated titles in a blatant attempt to be provocative.
Come back next week for our newest blog: “You Will Die, Unless You Read this Article”
Eagle-eyed readers will notice we’re not all dead, and so sometimes the blog title can be misleading. Accordingly, an animal was found in Montana recently, and it’s likely not a monster. But it’s still something pretty weird.
Weirder than something interesting happening in Montana
Let’s start from the beginning, last week, a man from Montana shot a wolf-like creature, because it was near his livestock, and not because people in Montana just shoot anything that moves. Upon further inspection, it turns out it wasn’t a wolf at all. Its teeth were too short, its ears were too big, and its claws were too long to be a wolf.
This picture suggests it also had a pen tucked behind its ear, and wolves rarely write
A rep from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) said it was a “young, non-lactating female and a canid, a member of the dog family that includes dogs, foxes, coyotes and wolves” and “collected and sent DNA samples for testing”. I imagine by “sent samples for DNA testing” he meant he dumped the carcass in a trash bag and dropped it at the front door of the nearest science lab.
“Extra care was taken to preserve the sample”
The FWP rep also said “We have no idea what this was until we get a DNA report back” meaning these wildlife experts are well and truly stumped by this animal. So what could it be? Some on the internet claim it could be a dire wolf, which was a real species, roughly the same size as the Montana wolf-thing, that lived in North America during the Pleistocene Epoch with mammoths, sabre-toothed cats, and giant ground sloths. Of course, the Pleistocene ended almost 12, 000 years ago, and with it went the dire wolf. Although one woman is trying to bring them back, which is a cause I can totally get behind.
Bringing back Pleistocene animals: the real way to Make America Great Again
Another theory is that the Montana animals is an eastern “coywolf”, a rare wolf-coyote hybrid species that evolved in the 1920s in Algonquin Park, Ontario, before moving down into cities like Toronto, and through the eastern US. They are more intelligent and cunning than wolves or coyotes, and have adapted for hunting in human areas and regularly feed on pets and livestock.
They’ve also adapted to human zones by walking on sidewalks and bringing their own poop-and-scoop bags
It may also be some sort of wolf-dog, or coyote-dog, hybrid, both of which exist in real life. Wolf-dogs in particular are often bred as pets, but are actually terrible pets, partly because they have the territorial instincts and aggression of wolves. So their owners bring them to sanctuaries, or outright abandon them, and then they go hunt livestock and get shot by farmers in Montana. Maybe.
Who would’ve thought breeding a dog with an apex predator could be a bad idea?
Of course, the internet being the internet, there are other, less well-thought out ideas as well. Some think the Montana wolf-thing is a Chupacabra, or a Dogman, or a Sasquatch/Bigfoot, all of which are mythological creatures, the last of which is supposed to be a giant primate, not a dog.
Of course, real Bigfoot experts know the wolf-thing is not nearly blurry enough to be a Sasquatch
And that’s it! We don’t know what it is, because the DNA samples haven’t come back. We’re not even sure if the lab even retrieved the body from the trash bag yet. So if you thought there was going to be some sort of resolution at the end of this, nope, nice try at thinking. I have no answers for you.
The Science Everywhere blog: disappointing readers since 2016
I’ll be sure to update this blog if/when the results come in, so check back here later. Depending on the outcome, the title of this blog might become a lot less provocative.
Mysterious Wolf-Monster Dog Found in Montana”
Update – June 2018: The DNA tests came back. It was a gray wolf Apparently there are about 900 of them in Montana.
Welp, that was worth it.