Dead White Coyote Discovered in Kennebunk
On Monday of last week, Lt. Anthony Bean Burpee of the Kennebunk Police Department was informed by the owners of a home on Balsam Lane that a dog had wandered into their yard and died. The police department does not handle dead dogs, so the home owners made arrangements to discard the animal in a remote area behind a business in Alfred.
That is where Regional Wildlife Biologist Scott Lindsay found the carcass of an animal that some had described as a white wolf.
While there is no known wolf population in Maine, others had described the creature as a dog or even a hybrid, a cross between a dog and a coyote.
Lindsay took the remains to his office in Gray, where he took measurements, which led him to believe that the animal was a white coyote. Lindsay said, "All of those measurements and factors lead me to believe it's a white coyote. That's what threw me off, the color. I have never seen a white coyote before."
He added, "Coyotes are usually a gray or beige color". White coyotes are extremely rare. The last white coyote seen in Maine was trapped a few years ago in the town of Patten near Baxter State Park".
Recently, white coyotes have begun surfacing in Newfoundland. According to an article in the Portland Press Herald, The Newfoundland Department of Environment and Conservation collects coyote carcasses for research purposes and found that out of the 6,000 specimens they've collected, six were white.
The dead white coyote found in Kennebunk had not been shot and did not have any broken bones. Lindsay is holding off on cutting the animal open to discover the cause of death, because the state may want the animal preserved and put on display at the Wildlife park in Gray. Meanwhile, Geri Vistein, a conservation biologist based in Washington, which is between Augusta and Camden speculates that the young animal may have been hit by a car and suffered some sort of internal injury.
Vistein said coyotes are a very social, highly evolved and intelligent species that is important to the state's ecosystem. "I personally believe we don't have enough coyotes in Maine," she said.
She also made mention of a really cool coyote website, "Coyote Lives In Maine".
The following is a jumpy video at first, but then gives one some good looks at a white coyote outside of Bakersfield California.