Coyote hunter wishes he hadn't killed wolf
Newfoundlander Joe Fleming would have held his fire if he had known it was a wolf
The hunter who killed a wolf on the island of Newfoundland earlier this year now says he regrets shooting the animal.
Joe Fleming shot what he thought was a coyote on the Bonavista Peninsula in March.
DNA tests have since shown that the 37-kilogram animal was, in fact, a wolf that likely migrated to the island from Labrador on sea ice.
Wolves still live in Labrador, but are believed to have been hunted to extinction on the island of Newfoundland in the 1930s.
"I probably would not have shot a wolf because there is some respect for a wolf," said Fleming of Spillars Cove on the Bonavista Peninsula.
"I don't have much respect for coyotes because I mean any animal that would sneak into your backyard and kill your pet or your sheep or your goats, I don't have much respect for that, but I don't see a wolf doing that. So if I thought it was a wolf, I probably wouldn't have shot it."
If the animal had been a coyote, Fleming would most likely have won an annual province-wide competition for shooting the largest coyote in the province.
Coyotes are not native to Newfoundland. They are believed to have come to the island on sea ice decades ago.