An apparent coyote kill from last year is still causing waves with animal advocates who believe it was actually an eastern wolf. The outdoors news is not as cut and dry as it seems according to advocates and officials. It’s a little contentious. Animal advocates are saying that there are populations of wolves in the area. Wildlife authorities are adamant that the wild canines have not returned to the area outside of a few lone incidents.
Of course, in certain parts of the country, wolves are still roaming around and are part of the natural ecosystem. In the east, not so much. Animal advocates believe that the slain coyote from last year was a wolf and that it had to have come from Canada, via the St. Lawrence River.
John Glowa of the Main Wolf Coalition said, “There has to be other wolves here. We have no doubt that eastern wolves are coming down and crossing the St. Lawrence. And they’re being killed. And they’re being called coyotes.”
Here’s where the science of the whole thing makes it… complicated. The thing is, after so many years, coyotes and wolves share DNA. There are debates about whether a mixed canine would be considered a wolf or a coyote and at which point it would be considered something else.
“The question is: What is a wolf? And that is not as simple as it sounds,” Daniel Rosenblatt, New York Department of Environmental Conservation wildlife biologist said.
If no one is acknowledging the return of these animals, and they are being written off as just coyotes then that is a problem. Wolves are protected and wildlife officials would be tasked with setting up safeguards for the animals.
Wolves Run Off Bears in Yellowstone National Park
When it comes to wolf populations that are for sure established and definitely out there on the hunt each day, they don’t mess around. Wolves out west can be beautiful and terrifying. In fact, they are one of the few animals that are able to go toe to toe with the bears that road around Yellowstone National Park.
While they don’t actively hunt bears, wolves are able to hold their own and threaten these creatures when they feel like it. Some folks caught on camera what looks like a little pack of these canine predators treeing a black bear. It’s definitely not something you see every day.
It might not be something that eastern states have to worry about. However, if those animal advocates are right, and the canines are in New York and other states. Wildlife officials are going to keep tabs and make sure that these populations get the protection they need. If they are coming back to the region, that could have a lot of side effects.