What is it, exactly?

Wildlife experts have been left baffled by a “wolf-like” creature that was shot dead by a farmer.

Bizarre theories have circulated online that it could be a werewolf, a young grizzly bear or even a relative of Bigfoot.

After inspecting the creature wolf experts have said they doubt it’s a wolf as its teeth are too short, front paws abnormally small and claws too large.

The animal came to the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks attention last week after a rancher shot it dead when it came within several hundred metres of his livestock in Denton, Montana.

FWP spokesman Bruce Auchly said it was a “young, non-lactating female and a canid, a member of the dog family that includes dogs , foxes, coyotes and wolves.

He added: “We have no idea what this was until we get a DNA report back.”

Theories over what the animal could be have ranged from a coywolf – a coyote wolf hybrid- or perhaps a wolfdog bred in captivity and later released into the wild.

Other suggested it could be a legendary Chupacabra but it is too far north for that.

One thing is for sure though – experts are not accepting as a wolf just yet – and DNA test results are not expected back for weeks.

Ty Smucker, wolf management specialist for Montana FWP, told the Great Falls Tribune : “Several things grabbed my attention when I saw the pictures,”

“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.”

The agency noted the “mythical” theories swirling online, including that it could be a direwolf.

“First off [dire wolf] was a song by the Grateful Dead from 1971,” Mr Auchly joked.

“I know, I listened to it many times.

“Number two, it’s a prehistoric animal, like mastodons and saber toothed tigers; so it doesn’t exist.”

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