Thu
Jan 17 2008
11:10 pm
By: WhitesCreek

I wish I had my camera to document this beast. Dead on the side of the road in a heavily forested area near Kingston.

Wolf, several people said, and when I saw it I understood why they said that. It almost certainly wasn't a dog. The feet are a dead giveaway. I would have said it was an extremely large coyote except for the color, which is definitely wolf like. The only rufus color I saw was on the rear legs, as I spread the feet looking at the pads and the shape they would make in a print. Wolf feet are very large compared to the weight of the animal. Just like this one.

The TWRA officer went through the same process I did. It's not a dog. The feet and tail say coyote. Looks like a wolf only there aren't any wolves around here.

If I had to bet, I would say it is a dog/wolf hybrid or dog/coyote hybrid, or just a really large coyote with an unusual color. The TWRA officer took a lot of pictures and wasn't the least bit sure of what he was seeing.

I went back and looked at it later on and decided the ears say coyote. I estimate the weight of the animal to be 90-105 pounds. Damned big for a coyote. I won't rule out anything, including a feral dog, but I wish I had seen it alive. It was a beauty!

One last observation...The front feet were about twice the length of the hind feet.

I'll let you know what we hear from TWRA.

Update: I posted a picture in the comments but it doesn't look as impressive as it really is. The ears look identical to the wolf picture I found, shape proportion, etc. The front paw is just over 4 inches along the pads, not including the claws. Rear paw is about 1.5 inches shorter and noticeably smaller. The tail is straight with no curl.

Coyote/Wolfdog

My wife and I saw an animal resembling the one that was described on Pumphouse Road two days ago. We thought it was a small deer at first with the long legs, but it also had a long tail. Could this have been the same animal?

Long legs and long tail

Long legs and long tail sounds like a coyote. They get large here and they're beautiful.

I'll put up a picture in a bit.

(No subject)

Wolf-Dog

I've seen what was represented to me to be a wolf-dog mix that someone had as a pet. It looked a lot like that. At the same time, coyotes have a wide variety of color markings, and live here, so it could be a coyote.

In other words, I've got no idea what it is. Assuming that the same thing can be said about whoever or whatever killed it, I think its safe to say that this has nothing to do with any breed-specific ban.

Who was the TWRA officer? One of our (two) Roane County Wildlife Officers?

Hubby and I...

Hubby and I both think this is a wolf hybrid. We have seen malmute, husky dogs crossed with wolf with very similar appearances. Most weighing in around 100 pounds. Still a shame to see it dead. Oh yeah! You are right Mark - nothing to do with breed ban - unless we want to ban this guy too! He might still be vicious.

Wylamena

Yes the TWRA officer was one

Yes the TWRA officer was one of the Roane County guys. Ask him about it if you see him.

Folks had told me they had seen a wolf at various places miles away from where this one got on the bad end of a Beast- vehicle interaction. I had poo'd the sightings, frankly. Now I take it back. They were right...I was wrong, whether is was a full blooded wolf or not.

I'm guessing hybrid, but it is a beauty, even in death. The place where it lies is a deer crossing, and speculation is that it was following a deer and didn't react to a vehicle in time.

I hope there are more of them out there, for some reason.

Just a thought..

Whatever happened to the wolves they tried to restore to the Smokey Mountains? Were they similar to this animal? Hubby has gone to bed and I can't ask. He is resident Davy Crockett/Daniel Boone here.

Wylamena

Red Wolves

Look much more like Coyotes, which look like big gray foxes. The Smokies project did not work well. I've seen red wolves on Bull Island in SC.

This isn't one of them.

Here's a collared wolf for comparison

Red Wolf

Coyote

These pics are great!

Thanks to all for making them available as good illustrations (and good education) for this particular discussion.

RB

On the subject of Coyotes...

Curious what everyone thinks of them. They are not native to Tennessee, and have only been here for the last twenty years or so. To some extent, they are displacing red foxes, which are native. Are they a good thing or a bad thing?

Coyotes

Bad thing, but inevitable.

They keep us awake at night with all the yipping.

Now...as to the beast in question...The ears plainly say it is NOT a coyote or Red wolf. The tail had no curl whatsoever so feral Malamute or husky is probably out except for a hybrid. The front paws were almost twice as large as the back feet so I lean wolf hybrid. The head was wolfish not dogish in the eye set also. The only doglike feature is the marking on the muzzle. Wolves usually have no distinct marking like the lines running down to the nose.

I only wish it were still running...alive.

Has anyone...

Hey, just a thought (always scary!) has anyone done a role call at Tiger Haven? Not wanting to cause a scare or anything, because they do a great job up there, but they had a few the last I heard.

Wylamena

I have wondered about that.

This beast looks like a released hybrid to me.

Where did it come from?

Maybe it came from...

That was different. Only in

That was different. Only in Dayton.

About one air mile

I 40 is about a mile from this spot.

I have been listening to folks tell of seeing a "wolf" for several years now, though. I don't think this is the only one out there. Time will tell.

And yes, I also knew about the Bull Elk, although I thought it had been killed. I hope you are right about the relocation.

I've dealt with cobras, gaboon vipers, and such myself, so I would be surprised if they are NOT being kept in Tennessee. I don't care for the cobras but most of the vipers are absolutely beautiful and are fairly easy to keep safely. In my zookeeping days, though, I remember a meatcleaver that hung near the tiger snake cage with a sign that said, "Save lives, not limbs." These animals are not to be taken lightly, and it is probably best that they stay in zoos and permitted keeper facilities these days.

I'm sticking with hybrid,

I'm sticking with hybrid, more because of the facial marking than anything else, but I think wolf not coyote. Several folks have told me of wolf hybrids being raised by several folks in our area, including Tiger Haven.

The paws are a dead match for the wolf examples I can find, particularly the front paw pads. The back pad on the front paw is distinctive in wolves. But there is a problem in relying on this, in that you never know what you'll get with a hybrid.

Fun Reading

No way to say for sure about

No way to say for sure about the yellow eyed dog but the blue eyed dog is definitely all dog. The feet of the yellow eyed one don't look right for wolf hybrid and the legs are just too short. A curled up tail would be conclusive that they are all dog.

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