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Wild Animals/print identification issue

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So i dont want to bother you
but not to long  back i asked you about a track i found
i found another one today
i dont know what its from but its bigger than the last one its measured at 5 inches long by 4 inches wide  
its so big
i dont even have a clue as to what it could be
our barn dog Kacie is far to small to create rhat
she still goes crazy at night. We live in southern canada in the country

Answer
Dear Melissa,

The tracks are definitely those of a canid, and the fact that they're larger suggests that there may more than one visiting your property. I'd speculate that the specimen is likely a sizable wolf.

Have you considered purchasing any non-lethal wolf deterrents? The canid is definitely trying to exploit, or is aware of the presence of, a potentially exploitable food source. In this case, the apparent target appears to be your chicken farm. Naturally, your barn dog can sense the wolf's presence via pheromones and the like, and perceives it as encroaching on your territory.

A wolf, especially of that size, would have no problem dispatching of a barn dog (or something like a German Shepherd, for example). The likelihood of the wolf actually harming a member of your household is low, and up until a few years ago there was no confirmed case of a wolf killing a human being in North America. That being said, your dog may very well be in danger, and the canid's confidence likely increases after each visitation.

I hope that the above will be of use in resolving your quandary.

Sincerely,

Fady

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Fady D. Isho

Expertise

I can answer general questions about any and all of the phyla within the kingdom Animalia. I am most knowledgeable on the predatory, reproductive, and intraspecific and interspecific behavior of megafauna, including but not limited to the big cats, ursines, hyenas, canids, and the like. I can also answer some questions about animal conservation, but please do not ask me how to rehabilitate feral animals. Virtually every state in America has a local animal shelter or rehabilitation center that serves that purpose. I would also prefer not to answer questions about hypothetical animal fights.

Experience

I've read about animals for the majority of my life, and have researched and studied them independently and academically.

Education/Credentials
I am a few semesters away from obtaining a B.S. in biology.

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