Close this search box.

Can A Dead Wolf Talk From The Grave?  

Wolf In Yellowstone National Park

At least one scientist thinks a dead wolf can communicate from the great beyond.

Retired University of Wyoming pathologist Donal O’Toole wants the remains of the tortured Wyoming wolf to be examined by forensic scientists, to see what the extent of the animal’s injuries were before its death.

O’Toole says it’s clear from a video that made the rounds on social media that the wolf was dying when Daniel resident Cody Roberts allegedly dragged it into the Green River Bar in February.  He tells Cowboy State Daily that the animal probably had fractures.  That would be consistent with Roberts’s story that he ran the wolf over with his snowmobile before taping its mount shut, binding it, and taking it to the bar.

O’Toole was at the University of Wyoming from 1990-2023 and was involved in numerous forensic investigations of animal cruelty and wildlife regulation violation cases at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WSVL).

O’Toole’s request for a necropsy, or a post-mortem examination, came in remarks he made during a lengthy public comment session on Wednesday before the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission in Riverton.

On Friday, he emailed a follow-up letter to Game and Fish Commission President Richard Ladwig, in which he said even now the carcass could be used for further investigation.

“Even if the skinned carcass was buried, it will be possible to get a sense of the animal’s injuries … based on the presence and extent of skeletal fractures,” the letter states.

Ladwig on Friday told Cowboy State Daily that he had received O’Toole’s letter, but couldn’t comment on details regarding possible further investigation in the case, such as the possible availability of the wolf’s carcass.

Any such decisions would be up to Game and Fish agents and others investigating the matter.

The Sublette County Sheriff’s and County Attorney’s offices announced last week that they, along with Game and Fish, are investigating possibly bringing stiffer charges against Roberts.

So far, the only penalty on record for Roberts is a $250 fine for illegal possession of a live wolf.

O’Toole’s letter states that officials have several options for a necropsy, including WSVL, as well as similar laboratories in Fort Collins, Colorado, and other states.

According to accounts of events Feb. 29, Roberts ran the wolf down with his snowmobile and then took it back to his residence and, at some point, taped the wolf’s muzzle shut. He took it to the bar to show it off before taking it behind the bar and killing it.

Beyond the specific allegations against Roberts, a necropsy of the wolf’s carcass could shed light on the practice of running down predators with snowmobiles, O’Toole said.

The practice, sometimes called “coyote mashing,” is probably more common in Wyoming than many people realize, he said.

If details of fractures and other injuries suffered by the wolf emerge, it could shed light on what getting hit by snowmobiles does to animals, O’Toole said.

He added that when people kill predators, they should do so quickly.

“If you’re going to kill a wolf, just shoot the wolf,” he said. “Same with coyotes, just shoot them. There’s no need to hit it with a snowmobile and then run back over it.”

Related Articles

Newsletter Signup

KODI Authors