It's Friday, so it's the perfect time for a story about a mysterious "wolf-like creature" shot in Montana that has people talking about the "Dogman" conspiracy and the continued existence of a prehistoric species of wolves.
"We have no idea what this was until we get a DNA report back," said Bruce Auchly, information manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, of the wolf-like animal shot near a ranch in Montana. "It was near a rancher's place, it was shot, and our game wardens went to investigate. The whole animal was sent to our lab in Bozeman. That's the last I ever heard of it."
The Great Falls Tribune reports that the creature, which "at this point, no one is 100 percent sure" how to identify, was shot and killed on May 16 on a ranch outside of Denton. "With long grayish fur, a large head and an extended snout, the animal shared many of the same characteristics as a wolf; but its ears were too large, it's legs and body too short, its fur uncharacteristic of that common to a wolf," the Tribune reports.
Social media in Lewistown exploded with theories over the creature last week, with some saying it was a starved "grizzly cub," others suggesting it was a descendent of prehistoric dire wolves, and others going right over the conspiracy cliff with the "Dogman" theory.
"That could very well be what’s being called Dogman," one person speculated. "They’re spotted each day and the government quells any and all reports. Several people report being strong armed into keeping quiet about their reports by men wearing black suits. These are just facts. Look into if if you don’t believe it."
Conspiracy theories aside, the Tribune quotes a wolf management specialist who said there are indeed several aspects of the animal that are highly unusual and which, he speculated, may be a result of the creature being a wolf-dog hybrid, which he says his department has encountered a few times.
"Several things grabbed my attention when I saw the pictures," said Ty Smucker. "The ears are too big. The legs look a little short. The feet look a little small, and the coat looks weird. There's just something off about it."