9 January 2013

New Brunswick Museum confirms wild-origin of recent New Brunswick wolf


On April 6, 2012 a large canid or wolf was shot about 3 km southwest of Caraquet, Gloucester County, New Brunswick.  The individual who shot the animal believed that it was a large coyote. Genetic analysis was carried out at the Trent University Wildlife Forensics Laboratory at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. The analysis determined that the animal was a mix of Grey wolf and Eastern Canadian wolf, and not a large coyote. However, questions remained about the origin of the animal, especially since the majority of similarly isolated wolves found in the northeastern United States have proven to be once-captive animals.

The New Brunswick Museum has now received the results of recent stable isotope analysis of bone material from the New Brunswick animal. The work, completed by the Stable Isotopes in Nature Laboratory, at the Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, confirmed that the animal is of wild-origin.  
Dr. Donald McAlpine, Research Curator of Zoology at the New Brunswick Museum, noted that the carbon signature in this animal clearly identified it as a wild-origin animal. “Following the necropsy of the animal we strongly suspected it was of wild-origin “said McAlpine, adding that the animal, a young male, was in excellent health. “Tapeworms found in the animal indicated that it had been eating in the wild for a period of time. The results of the stable isotype analysis confirmed our suspicions.”

The wolf has been donated to the New Brunswick Museum. The cleaned skeleton of the animal has now been added to the NBM’s mammal research collection, while the pelt is now being prepared for public exhibit.

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Caitlin Griffiths:  506-643-7666 / 1-888-268-9595 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.