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DENTON, Mont. (AP) — A central Montana rancher shot a wolf-like animal after it was spotted in a pasture with livestock, but a closer look prompted state wildlife officials to take DNA samples to determine what type of animal it was.

montana mysterious wolf DNA Tests Underway To Determine What Wolf Like Animal Is

Photo Credit: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks via CBS News

Fish, Wildlife and Parks regional spokesman Bruce Auchly said the animal’s front claws and canine teeth are too short and its ears are too tall in proportion to its skull for it to be a purebred wolf.

wolf pen DNA Tests Underway To Determine What Wolf Like Animal Is

Photo Credit: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks via CBS News

The animal was shot on May 16 near Denton.

Wolf management specialist Ty Smucker says the animal could be a wolf-dog hybrid. The DNA tests haven’t been returned.

wolf paw DNA Tests Underway To Determine What Wolf Like Animal Is

Photo Credit: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks via CBS News

Warden Zach Norris says the rancher was within his rights to kill the animal because it was seen near livestock, domestic dogs and children.

wolf truck DNA Tests Underway To Determine What Wolf Like Animal Is

Photo Credit: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks via CBS News

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