Mysterious animal sighting in North Andover

Posted: 02/18/13 at 4:55 pm EST

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- A homeowner in North Andover spotted a mysterious animal in his backyard.

“It kind of looks like a wolf or a coyote or something,” said Mark Ferri, a neighbor.

The animal could possibly be a hybrid of a wolf and a coyote; a mix called a Coywolf. Wolves were eradicated in Massachusetts back in the 1800’s but about six years ago a gray wolf was shot by a local farmer, showing it is possible that the animal has migrated here from other areas.

More than one neighbor spotted the animal.

“He wasn’t scruffy at all. It lay down and sat down just like a dog would do, not like a wild animal,” said Tom Macleish.

But police want to remind everyone that it is a wild animal.

“It is wild life. We’re building up homes around them. They’re getting used to having us around. They’re more afraid of us than we are of them. So if you see one leave it alone, keep your distance. If it looks like it’s ill or sick, call the police department and we’ll look into it,” said Lt. Charles Gray, North Andover Police Department.

The animal spotted in North Andover wasn’t acting strangely. The most probable theory is that it is a coyote that has a thicker coat because it’s winter. But it is also widely understood that most coyotes do have wolf DNA.

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