Fact Check

Coyote Ugly

Does a photograph show a 115-pound coyote killed in New York?

Published Jan 8, 2005

Claim:   Photograph shows a 115-pound coyote killed in New York.

Status:   Real photograph; inaccurate description.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

BIG COYOTE New York State Record

WOW! How many deer do you figure this guy took down?

N.Y.S. D.E.C. game commission officer Bob Doe confirmed that this was indeed a new New York state record coyote. Its official weight was 115 pounds, it is a very large male and was shot during the regular deer season just out side the town of Hilton. It has been spotted on several different occasions chasing deer & livestock, dogs, and cats.


Origins:   Like many Internet-circulated photos of unusually large animals, this item is a real picture accompanied by somewhat garbled details.

According to officials with New York's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the canine pictured above is not a coyote but a male wolf-dog hybrid, it was shot and killed in Pennsylvania (not New York), and it weighed somewhere between 102 and 105 pounds.

The animal's neutered state indicates that it was probably being kept as a pet but escaped or was released by its owner. Wolf-dog hybrids are illegal to possess as pets in New York state.

Last updated:   17 March 2004


  Sources Sources:

    Pitarresi, John.   "'Record Coyote' Had Us Fooled Last Week."

    [Utica] Observer-Dispatch.   9 February 2004.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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