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Tests on Monte wolf not complete

MONTEVIDEO -- It could be a year or more yet before it is known for certain whether the 81-pound canine found killed alongside a Chippewa County roadway last March is a wolf, as is believed.

The carcass recovered along Minnesota Highway 7 about halfway between Montevideo and Watson had all the characteristics of a wolf, but only genetic tests can confirm it. Due to the high costs for genetic tests, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is holding on to tissue from the animal and will submit it when there is a broader sampling of wolves.

The DNR believes the animal is a wolf, according to Dan Stark, wolf management director with the DNR. He said it could be a year or more before the genetic tests and analysis are completed.

While the discovery of the carcass generated lots of local interest, it hardly raised eyebrows within the DNR. Stark said that with 3,000 wolves in the state, it is not unusual for one to show up outside the normal range. Although it is out of the ordinary, it is not unexpected given the proximity to the largest wolf population in the lower 48 states, he said.

The carcass was examined and found to have all of the characteristics of a wild wolf, and no reason to believe it was a wolf-dog hybrid. There were no signs of captivity or domestication.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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