By Benjamin Cost
Only days after possibly gunning down the wrong wolf during a hunt for the creature responsible for biting seven people in Tengzhou (two of whom died), Shandong’s finest captured another suspect which isn’t even the right species. Last week, police tracked down and “apprehended” a white wolf in Tengzhou, which has been revealed to be a husky. China Daily highlights the ordeal leading up to the discovery:
The white-coated animal was caught on March 23 at Nanshahe town in Tengzhou, Shandong province, and identified by a local zoo as a 5-year-old she-wolf.
But a local man surnamed Wang claimed it was his pet dog Lady that he had reared for two years, and who was gentle in nature.
“We have invited experts from some universities in Shandong, and they will professionally determine whether it’s a wolf or a dog,” Zhang Changpu, a wildlife protection officer at the Zaozhuang Forestry Bureau, said on Monday.
Xing Hao, a local zookeeper, told China Central Television: “Its cry is like that of a wolf and the corners of its eyes are tilted, not straight like that of a dog. Its tail is also straight, not sticking up like a dog, and its ears are upright. All these indicators are in line with a wolf’s characteristics.”
But Wang disagreed. “It’s not a wolf but my dog. I recognized her at a glance from a news photo,” Wang told China Daily.
“Her name is Lady and she is very gentle. I have raised her for nearly two years. At around 11 am last Friday, she ran away from home and never came back.”
As it turns out, Wang appears to know his Lady well, for recent DNA testing by experts confirmed that the animal is in fact a husky (a simpler test might have involved setting a bowl of Kibbles’nBits in front of the animal to see if it lunged for it). But we can all agree that telling wolves and huskies apart is undeniably tricky, even when pairing their pictures side-by-side (below). Nonetheless, it shouldn’t be beyond the expertise of a zookeeper who, like a reporter who can’t distinguish a witty headline from a racist remark, may want to consider a career change.
And while an owner might be happily reunited with his pet, the killer wolf is likely still at large. If not, some hard-core obedience training and an appointment with the Dog Whisperer are in order for Lady.
A photo chart highlighting the differences between wolves and huskies, which include the fact that wolves’ eyes are tilted upward at a near-45-degree angle while husky eyes are rounder, and the fact that wolves are more uniformly-colored than huskies. [via]