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Is it a Wolf or a Coyote? Wildlife Expert Weighs in on Divisive Viral Video

A recent video shared widely on social media shows a canine predator tracking down a deer through a golf course.

In the video, the animal grabs the deer’s neck and drags it to the ground. Although some find the video unsettling, it’s a prime example of nature.

The response to the video, which was posted on the @natureismetal Instagram account, was less about people being upset about the deer – but rather a debate erupted around whether the predator was a wolf or coyote.

What animal do you think it is? Check out the video below:

Wold of Coyote? An Expert Assessment from Voyageurs National Park

Those arguing that it’s a wolf suggest the animal looks too large for a coyote and mention the shape of its head. Others believe it could be a “coywolf,” which is a wolf and coyote hybrid. The video is from Alberta, Canada, where you can find both animals.

Outdoors.com skipped the pseudo-online experts and asked an actual wolf researcher for his opinion. 

Thomas Gable is the lead researcher who runs the Voyageurs Wolf Project. He and his team track wolves around Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota to better understand their habits. Gable knows a lot about wolves.

He says while the video is far enough away to be ambiguous enough for a debate, he’s quite sure it’s a coyote.

“My impression is that it is a coyote and not a wolf. Of course, the animal is a fair bit away from the camera, so it’s hard to tell with 100% certainty, but I would say I am 98% confident that is a coyote,” wrote Gable in an email this morning.

Check out this other viral video to see how large wolves are.

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