The severed head of the worldâ€™s first full-sized Pleistocene wolf was unearthed in the Abyisky district in the north of Yakutia.
Local man Pavel Efimov found it in summer 2018 on shore of the Tirekhtyakh River, tributary of Indigirka.
The wolf, whose rich mammoth-like fur and impressive fangs are still intact, was fully grown and aged from two to four years old when it died.
The wolf, whose rich mammoth-like fur and impressive fangs are still intact, was fully grown and aged from two to four years old when it died. Picture: Albert Protopopov
The head was dated older than 40,000 years by Japanese scientists.
Scientists at the Swedish Museum of Natural History will examine the Pleistocene predatorâ€™s DNA.
â€˜This is a unique discovery of the first ever remains of a fully grown Pleistocene wolf with its tissue preserved. We will be comparing it to modern-day wolves to understand how the species has evolved and to reconstruct its appearance,â€™ said an excited Albert Protopopov, from the Republic of Sakha Academy of Sciences.
The men were working on the Sindi dam on the Parnu river when they spotted the animal trapped in the icy water.
After clearing a path through the ice, they took the frozen canine to a clinic for medical care.
Only then was it revealed they had been carrying a wolf.
The Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals (EUPA) said the wolf had low blood pressure when it arrived at the veterinarian’s office, which may have explained its docile nature after the men carried it to their car to warm it up.
Speaking to the Estonian newspaper Postimees, one of the men, Rando Kartsepp, said: “We had to carry him over the slope. He weighed a fair bit.”
“He was calm, slept on my legs. When I wanted to stretch them, he raised his head for a moment,” he added.
Veterinarians had some suspicions over the large dog’s true nature, but it was a local hunter, familiar with the region’s wolves, who finally confirmed it for what it was: a young male wolf, about a year old.
Armed with this new information, clinic staff decided to put the wolf in a cage after treatment – in case it became less docile once it recovered.
The EUPA said it paid for the animal’s treatment, and that “luckily, everything turned out well”.
The wolf recovered from its brush with death within the day and, after being fitted with a GPS collar by researchers from the national environmental agency, was released back into the wild.
On May 16 a lone wolf-like animal was shot and killed on a ranch outside 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.
So far, the exact species is a mystery
So what was it? At this point, no one is 100 percent sure.
“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. “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.”
Social media from around the Lewistown area was buzzing last week; with many people chiming in on what they believed the creature to be.
Grizzly cub? Dogman? Dire wolf? Or what?
“That’s a grizzly cub,” one commentator wrote. “Under a year and starving from the look.”
“Maybe a dire wolf,” wrote another, “because I don’t believe they are all gone.”
Speculation roamed as far as identifying that animal as a crypto-canid species said to roam the forests of North America.
Stalked by a wolf while picking mushrooms near Fort Smith in Canada’s North West Territories, Joanne Barnaby was forced to retreat farther and farther from the highway and her vehicle. She finally foiled her pursuer by enlisting the aid of a larger predator.
Wolf pursuing motorcyclist on Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park last Saturday.
Last Saturday, Banff mechanic Tim Bartlett was christening a new motorcycle through the Rocky Mountains when he had a rare wildlife encounter that was equal parts terrifying and enchanting. On a stretch of British Columbiaâ€™s Highway 93, a massive grey wolf emerged from the trees, lunged at his speeding ride and chased after him at full speed as he pulled away.
The story would have become little more than another legend clanging around the roadhouses of Western Canada if Mr. Bartlett had not whipped a camera out of his top pocket to record the event for posterity.
1:09 video (Autoplay would not turn off in the embedded version.)
A wolf attacked 56-year-old Aishat Maksudova near her sister’s home in Dagestan in the Northern Caucusus. Maksudova was on her way to repair a fence, and tried to stop a wolf from attacking a calf. The wolf went after her instead, biting her leg and left hand, and knocking her to the ground. Fortunately, Maksudova was able to bring into play the axe she was carrying to repair the fence. She hit the wolf right on the head, splitting its skull and killing it dead.