Author Topic: Possible wolf in the Picos  (Read 11712 times)

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Offline nick

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Possible wolf in the Picos
« on: July 20, 2007, 20:16 PM »
Hi all,

I just received this mail from somebody who has given me permission to post it here: Jury is out as far as I can see. Could be a wolf or could be a mastiff. What do you all reckon? Behavior seems wolf-like.

Nick,


I was interested to read your article on Wolves in Spain. 

"On the 4th of July at about 10 am I was leading a group of 7 trekkers from the UK down a mountain path in the Picos de Europa.  We went from Refugio J D Ubeda to Sortes (I think this is just inside Austurias). At about 1000m altitude on a bend in the path we stopped for a break and quickly noted all the goats on the nearby hillside were all looking at another single animal higher up on the slope. 
Getting my monocular focused it clearly was a large carnivore (bigger than a adult goat) which appeared to be trying to stalk the goats and some nearby sheep.  There were no other humans visible in the area.  It's muscles in the shoulders were visible as it walked like a big cat.  My immediate thought was that it looked like a Puma but the distance and background made the shape of its head difficult to see.  It was being harassed by a couple of diving choughs or ravens, the spooked goats kept moving away from it, so in the end it just sat up on it's haunches and looked at us. 

Could this have been a Wolf ?

I attach some of my long range grainy photos that could be anything from a Big Foot to a Martian but I suspect it was a Wolf.

My apologies if you get lots of stupid questions like this all the
time but this 'Beast of the Picos' is bugging us.

Yours,

IO1 Steve Houghton

PS
We thought it looked to 'business like' for a dog - possible big thin Alsatian but it certainly wasn't wagging its tail and there was no
shepherd or people within a km.   It was stalking those goats not casing  them. We did not see a collar through binoculars but the photos may look like one. 




« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 20:21 PM by nick »
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Possible wolf in the Picos
« on: July 20, 2007, 20:16 PM »

Offline Clive

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 22:01 PM »
Hola,

Like you say Nick, jury is out....

If you can ask Steve to email me the original images I will have a go at enhancing them...

It's the big shoulders and square head that make it look like a mastiff. Ignore any colouration in these images because of the distance and the file size here..Also the fact that the creature looks a bit too "bulky" may be due to the low resolution...

Who's got the latest wolf sighting data up in that neck of the woods? Lisa!.......

Clive
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Offline lucy

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 23:18 PM »
Perhaps the behaviour of the choughs suggests it wasn’t a mastiff.  The choughs reacted as if to a known threat, like magpies to a cat in a garden.  Why would they harass a mastiff?

Offline lisa

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2007, 23:30 PM »
Looks like a wolf to me  :clapping:
I don't think it's my imagination but I reckon I can see pointy ears, mastines' are droopy.
Also it's not tall enough to be a mastín, they have long legs.
From the description of it's behaviour I also rule out an alsation type dog which would be more likely to be running amok instead of stealthily stalking.
Check out the photo from Carlos Sanz re "bulky", nothing skinny about his wolf.

Shame it's stalking unprotected domestic animals instead of rebecos.
The National Park recently (June) handed out licences to shoot 4 wolves, I think this is a lucky one.
There's a small pack of wolves that tend to hang around the eastern massif. Sotres is in the middle of the central and eastern.
Case rested  8)
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Offline Sue

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2007, 23:50 PM »
Hi All,
This creature certainly looks as though it is in stealth mode… so where are the mastines that should be with the domestic flocks in wolf territory???

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Offline lisa

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2007, 23:55 PM »
Good question, they're not used as much as they should be.
I don't know about guarding goats though, they just wouldn't be able to keep up on rocky slopes.
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Offline nick

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2007, 02:19 AM »
I thought you'd all enjoy this one. Images in the post Clive. If I had to guess, I'd go with as Lisa says the plumpiness and its behavoiur and say it's a wolf...Let's see what Clive's image enhancing can do.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2007, 02:26 AM by nick »
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Offline Clive

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2007, 12:29 PM »
Hola,

If I took away the arrow would you be able to see it in the picture? This creature is quite along way away...

Clive
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Offline Clive

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2007, 12:32 PM »
Hola,

Managed to pull these two images though.

Clive
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Offline SueMac

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2007, 14:37 PM »
Hi all

Fascinating stuff.  I played around with Clive's image, cropped it some more, used the sharpen fliter and then scaled the image up and stood back from my screen for a good look. I agree with all ;front leg lifted pointy ears and mouth open , deep chest, definitely hunting.

So is this a normal type of country for the wolves? It's so open.
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Offline lisa

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2007, 16:10 PM »
Depends where the prey is SueMac.
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Offline lisa

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2007, 20:26 PM »
Been talking to Teresa about this and she said when she was going up in the cable car at Fuente De on the 2nd of July the teleférico workers had just seen a wolf near the top after some sheep!
Bearing in mind the Picos are a relatively tiny mountain range, Sotres and the hut that Steve talks about are not far away.
She agrees that the photos look like a wolf but has doubts about the tail - says it looks a little long. We've been looking at lots of wolf photos on nayadefilms.com
What do you all think?
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Offline Clive

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2007, 21:53 PM »
Hola,

I think...... I wish I was there with my camera.........Sue and I are long overdue a revisit to the Picos

The tail is long and the "pointy ears" may be digital fuzz

Wishful thinking that it's a wolf that didn't get hunted?

I think it is a wolf

Clive


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Offline lisa

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2007, 23:46 PM »
Yeah, so do I. It's too much of a coincidence to have these 2 sightings within 2 days even if we can't positively id it 100% from the pics - got more proof than people have of a certain watery monster in the L.O.G  :dancing:

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Offline SueMac

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2007, 11:38 AM »
This is what I have - I still think pointy ears are real
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Offline SueMac

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2007, 11:40 AM »
   and longtail I have severely increased contrast
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Offline SueMac

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2007, 11:41 AM »
 ..duh...
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Offline lisa

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2007, 12:12 PM »
Well done SueMac.
I've been looking at that photo and I don't think we should discount the possibility that we're looking at two different animals here. The first photo def. looks like a wolf while the second looks more like a mastín to me. Think it would have been barking though, but may be it hadn't spotted the wolf.
Wolf after goats, mastín with sheep??
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Offline lisa

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2007, 12:33 PM »
Some tails.......





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Offline lisa

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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2007, 12:34 PM »
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Re: Possible wolf in the Picos
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2007, 12:34 PM »