Down East 2013 ©
A huge animal killed by a car just south of Bryant Pond on Tuesday night may have been a wolf or wolf-hybrid.
Wednesday’s blizzard didn’t stop a few industrious individuals from tracking down the story and spreading it to others, including me.
Tom Remington of Skinny Moose Media  emailed me at 9:49 a.m. Wednesday as snow accumulated outside my home/office window.
“Perhaps you would like to know that last night a wolf was hit by a car and killed just south of Bryant Pond. The creature is believed (to) weigh well over 100 pounds and had some age as the teeth were very well worn. It is being described as a wolf but more than likely… is a wolf-hybrid… more than likely someone’s wolf-hybrid that got away or was released,” wrote Tom.
The timing couldn’t be better for Senator David Trahan, sponsor of LD 11, An Act to Regulate the Keeping of Wolf Hybrids. His bill was heard by the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee on January 25 and is set for a work session next Tuesday, February 8, at 1:30 pm in Room 206 of the Cross Office Building.
Trahan hopes to have photos and more information about the animal for the work session. And he didn’t let the snowstorm stop him from pursuing the animal.
I forwarded Remington’s initial email to Trahan, and he called me immediately. Our first concern was that the animal might be lost before the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife could get it for examination and DNA testing.
For a few hours, phone calls and emails went back and forth between Remington, Trahan, and myself, with a few other participants collected along the way including Al Smith, President of the Maine Outdoor Federation.
While Trahan was trying to track down key people at IF&W, Remington got more information from his informant who turned out to be a DOT foreman. He learned that the State Police responded to the scene, but he couldn’t find out what happened to the animal.
Although state government had shut down for the day due to the storm, Diane Johanson, Republican Senate Legislative Aide, was still on the job and Trahan put her to work. Diane scoured state government for someone who could tell us more.
DOT Commissioner David Bernhardt passed Johanson’s inquiry along to his people, and Norm Haggan came through with the answer.
In an email at 3:46 p.m., while the snow continued to pile up outside my window, Haggan reported, “We have located the animal. Ozzie Hart is the animal control officer for Woodstock and he has the animal… Two members of our South Paris crew helped Ozzie load the animal after it was hit.
“The crew would be interested in the results of the examination,” continued Haggan. “They said it was a huge animal with hair about 5 inches long. Transportation Crew Supervisor Gregg Inman said that he called the local Game Warden and the Warden said that the animal’s tracks were around his house that day.”
After receiving this news, Trahan emailed a request for photos of the animal and the results of any examination to John Boland, IF&W’s Director of Wildlife and Fisheries Divisions. He hopes to have that information in time for the February 8 work session on his wolf-hybrid bill.
As soon as we get a photo of the animal, I will post it here.
Special thanks to Tom Remington for getting this story to us and working with us throughout the day on it, and to all who contributed to tracking down the animal, and especially to the DOT crew and Ozzie Hart for recognizing the animal’s importance and keeping it for examination by IF&W.