DNA being tested on N.B. mystery 'wolf'
Zoologist said it was a matter of time before a wolf was found in New Brunswick
A zoologist at the New Brunswick Museum believes the large animal shot on the Acadian Peninsula earlier this month could be a wolf.
The hunter thought the large animal was a coyote at first, but at nearly 90 pounds, it's about three times bigger than an average coyote.
Don McAlpine, a zoologist, said he expects to have a DNA profile in about a month that will settle the mystery once and for all.
"I think we figured it was just a matter of time before a wolf turned up here. There have been a number of confirmed wolves in Quebec, south of the St. Lawrence, in the last decade," McAlpine said.
"There have been probably about 10 or so in the northern New England states and it's interesting that more than half of those animals are actually determined to be once captive animals, so there are certainly some wolves wandering around out there, but there is a mix of both captive and wild animals."
Provincial wildlife officials said the last time a wolf was reported killed in the province was in 1876.
McAlpine said the animal could turn out to be a wolf, or a mix between a coyote and a domestic dog or a wolf, domestic dog and coyote mix.
The Department of Natural Resources is performing DNA tests.
The hunter, Jacques Mallet, shot the animal in Saint-Simon, near Caraquet.
If DNA testing shows the animal is a wolf, Mallet will have to hand it over to the Department of Natural Resources, but he'll still have bragging rights for the record kill.
Wolves are believed to have been hunted to extinction after the province starting offering a bounty in 1858 of 15 shillings for every wolf killed.