Franklin County, Massachusetts

From the Quincy Patriot Ledger of October 22, 2007

Animal shot in western Massachusetts may be state’s first wolf, officials say

State wildlife officials say a large animal killed in Franklin County last week may have been the first wild wolf in Massachusetts since 1840.

After investigating reports from several farms about attacks on lambs and sheep, MassWildlife received a call on Oct. 14 that an 85-pound wild dog had been killed in Shelburne, about 8 miles west of Greenfield.

A farmer shot the animal Oct. 14 when it returned to his Shelburne farm after having killed 13 lambs the day before. The farmer’s name was not released.

On Oct. 13, a wildlife biologist visited the farm where the lambs had been killed. The owner was told he had the right to shoot the animal, which at that point was assumed to be a dog.

Officials described the animal as a wolf or a cross between a wolf and a dog.

Todd Fuller, a professor and wolf researcher from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, examined the dead animal and said it may have been a wolf or a hybrid.

The carcass has been sent to a lab in Oregon for DNA testing.

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