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Wolves in Woodbury?

A pack of wolf-like creatures walked right by this Woodlake resident, leaving him wondering if they are wolves or a hybrid breed of coyote-wolves. Have you seen the four-legged critters in Connecticut?

 

One day in September, Dan Davidson, a resident of Woodlake in Woodbury, took a walk on the grounds.

"There's a path out in the back, in the woods," he said.

It was around 4 p.m. when he saw them.

"I saw four, five, six wolves, just walk across the path," said Davidson. "I just sat there and didn't move or make a sound. They were about 40 to 50 feet away from me."

He described the animals as mostly brown in color, with some grey. They walked in a single file line across the path.

"They didn't even look at me," said Davidson. "They must have known I was there. I kind of stood up really slowly. After 10 or 20 seconds, I turned and ran and didn't look back."

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About a week before the sighting, he said he was taking his two dogs for a walk around midnight.

"I heard howling," said Davidson. "Normally, my dogs would be going nuts and barking back. One of my dogs was trying to run back to the house and the other was crying."

Dan's mom, Judy Davidson, said they listened to videos of wolves and coyotes howling online.

"We spent quite a bit of time online, and especially on Youtube, where we listened to vocalizations of coyotes vs. wolves," she said in an e-mail to Patch. "He clearly identified the sounds he heard as wolves."

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 In January 2012, this Middlebury resident's motion sensor camera caught a pack of coyotes on film. Click here to see the video.

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Judy said they read information online suggesting wolves have returned to New England.

"I also did not know that coyotes interbreed with wolves," she said. "Danny is not sure whether what he saw today were wolf-coyotes or wolves, but they were clearly much larger than coyotes."

According to a fact sheet on coyotes from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the eastern coyote's larger size is attributed to coyotes interbreeding with Canadian gray wolves.

Judy Umstead, animal control officer for Bethlehem and Woodbury, said there have been no confirmed sightings of wolves in Woodbury.

Readers, have you seen any wolves or coyotes in town and/or in Connecticut?

Wayne Mattox September 26, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Crossing route 6 early morning late last May near Logan's farm. A beautiful, healthy yellow coyote? the size of a large wolf ... I saw ... and didn't believe my own eyes! Now I know my senses were not playing tricks on me. Let these beautiful animals live in peace. Best wishes, Wayne the antique dealer
T A September 26, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Saw a coyote on Church Hill Rd, near Rt 61, last week as it sprinted across the road. looked like a 1-2 yr old shepard, blonde to grey in color
Jaimie Cura (Editor) September 26, 2012 at 08:56 PM
I've only ever heard howls in Middlebury but have yet to see any of the critters. Adam sent us the following tweet: "They're coydogs. Live in packs like coyotes and howl at night. Pretty neat. My fiance has them on her property in woodbury." (www.twitter.com/woodmiddpatch) This is the first time I've heard the term 'coydog!' Has an interesting ring to it, no?
Ron Hurt September 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Moved in last week just north of Wood Lake and immediately spotted a bobcat in the back woods. Too bad for our two cats! No romps outside without supervision now!
Jaimie Cura (Editor) September 26, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Yikes, Ron! Talk about a welcome to the neighborhood!
Judy Davidson October 01, 2012 at 03:41 PM
In a conversation after this event at the Woodbury Barber Shop, I heard that predators such as the coyote are becoming larger because of the abundance of deer and other prey. Paradoxically, the clearing of land for development has produced ideal habitat for deer, according to the owner, Curt. My son has maintained all along that the animals he saw were at least the size of our old dog, Biscuit, who was a sixty-five pound Welsh Springer Spaniel. Curt says it is entirely possible, however, for even coyotes to grow that large these days. Regardless, I am grateful that whatever he saw happened not to be hungry...
Sean M October 02, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I walked into a wolf or coyote one night in the parking lot of the AT&T building. They can sneak up on you.
Heidi Suerken-Willie October 15, 2013 at 01:02 PM
Check out the CT Wolf Sightings message board. There, people from all over the state report their experiences. The board goes back to the mid-2000s, but there are recent postings, as well. I believe what most of us are seeing/hearing are coywolves, but I also think that gray wolves and eastern wolves have made their way (back) to New England. http://www.voy.com/160093/16.html

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