State environmental authorities said Thursday that recent testing had shown the animal killed during a coyote hunt in upstate New York last year was in fact a wolf.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said that the data examined this week went against an original examination that had found it was an Eastern coyote.
Only three wolves have been discovered in the wild in the state in the last 25 years, according to environmental authorities. Since they are an endangered species, wolves are protected throughout the state.
Although the wolf population isn’t known to have expanded across Michigan, officials claimed it was unknown where the animal originated but that it was probably from the Great Lakes region.
They suggested that it may have been an animal in captivity that escaped or was freed.
The agency said that “captive wolves released into the wild in New York have been reported in the past.”
About 40 miles west of Albany, in Cherry Valley, Otsego County, the wolf was killed. When the hunter’s DNA was transferred to Princeton University for further testing after specialists examining the original DNA study said it was a coyote, the results showed it was probably a male wolf.
By the turn of the 20th century, wolves are thought to have vanished from the Northeast, and coyotes, which are now widespread there, have stepped in to fill the void. However, a lot of locals have reported sighting creatures that they think are more like to the bigger wolves and sometimes hearing howling.
According to some supporters, wolves are present in New York and New England and may be travelling south from Canada by crossing the frozen St. Lawrence River.
In order to continue creating a network of protected landscapes that serve as habitat for threatened and endangered species in the state, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation stated that it “will continue to work with federal, state, and local partners to advance additional conservation actions.”