A Missouri bowhunter shot what appeared to be a massive coyote last week while deer hunting in the Franklin Island Conservation Area. But the sheer size of the animal is calling its biological identification into question.
Although the nation’s largest coyote on record was 74 pounds, this male predator weighed in at a hefty 81 pounds, reports the Columbia Daily Tribune. And what’s more, biologists from the Missouri Department of Conservation say the animal wasn’t even fully mature.
The MDC announced in a press release that no tags or markings suggest the mystery predator was a captive animal. The MDC collected tissue samples for DNA analysis to confirm the species, which will take three to six months. MDC speculates the animal may be a wolf, but other possible identifications include a large coyote or some sort of hybrid animal.