Hi. Quite a long time ago I found a reference to the killing of a large black wolf in the Boise national forest in Idaho in 1909, which could not be identified then or now. It was sent to the “biological survey in Washigton D.C" according to The Standard, Ogden, Utah newspaper of April 8th 1909 but I had no success tracking down records of the remains of this enormous wolf with a heavy, coarse black coat, which even Native Americans were unfamiliar with.
The other day whilst looking for some other unrelated information I found a website called Weird Animal Report. `Amarok, And Other Giant Wolves. So, I thought, could the Boise Forest wolf of 1909 be the Amarok? The web site, by someone going under the name of “Erika”, posted on January 25th 2010, contains the following information – (I will not quote in entirety, just the most interesting parts.)
“ It is a figure in Inuit mythology with a lot of ties to the field of cryptozoology. Amorak was a giant wolf who would “hunt down and devour anyone foolish enough to hunt alone at night” (1). Amorak does not travel in a pack (thank goodness for small favors) but is a lone wolf………..The precursors to the Inuit people would have travelled along the Bering land bridge alongside dire wolves, so to speak. The dire wolf would have been a familiar figure, and more`s the pity, because it was a tenacious predator, about five feet long, weighing almost 200 pounds.
Another candidate is the hyaenodon, which is an extinct relative of the modern hyaena. Hyaenodons were members of the “large and furry” cohort of animals which flourished during the Miocene. They were large, in keeping with their prey ( woolly mammoths and woolly rhinoceros) and competition (dire wolves and Aphycyonidae).
Although hyaenodons came in all shapes and sizes , Hyaenodon gigas, the largest hyaenodon, was the size of a small rhinoceros, and was probably a solitary nocturnal predator. This matches the description of Amarok perfectly. Furtermore H.gigas would have had a thick coat to survive the ice age, and could easily have tolerated modern day climate of the Inuit`s home range in the Arctice…………..And more southerly still we have the Shunka Warakin, which is a large wolf like animal which is a member of Native American folklore, specific to the central states and the Rocky Mountains. The Shunka Warakin is apparently part of Sioux culture, and according to cryptozoologist Loren Coleman the name translates to “the one who carries off dogs” (2)
Several Shunka Warakin candidates have surfaced over the years, but all have been debunked eventually. Most recently, an unusually large wolf was said to be responsible for the deaths of 120 sheep over the course of one year in Montana. (The proof on this claim is somewhat lacking, and knowing ranchers and humans in general as I do, I rather suspect that every sheep which died in that time was chalked up to this one particular naughty wolf. But I digress.
Eventually the wolf was shot, and was identified by Montana Fish and Game officials as being a regular wolf with an unusual reddish coloration.(3)
1. No source is given for this quote.
2. This sounds a bit like our 1909 animal.
3. and most of the blog http://weirdanimalreport.com/news/amarok-and-other-giant-wolves.
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