Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon knew he was on the tail of a big one yesterday afternoon after neighbors' reports of a large roaming dog brought him and his tranquilizer gun to an old barn in the northwest corner of the county.
He said he spotted the furry creature hiding behind the barn among some farm equipment, but couldn't get close enough to determine what it was exactly.
Mr. Skeldon then took aim and fired a dart, hitting the thing in the back and sending it scurrying out of hiding.
The animal revealed itself as no dog at all.
"When it jumped out in the open, I said 'Whoa, this is a wolf!' " he said.
The brownish-gray wolf was later estimated to weigh about 130 pounds, a size requiring more than one tranquilizer dart to mellow it.
Mr. Skeldon said the wolf, after being hit, stumbled into a nearby field and walked past a pile of bird feathers that he suspects came from either a duck or chicken that the animal had for dinner. At that point, the wolf was near the intersection of Brint and Richfield Center roads.
The warden fired off a second dart, which finally subdued the wolf. He put it on a leash and dragged it into a cage for transport to the county dog pound.
Mr. Skeldon said he has never seen a full-breed wolf in Lucas County. He speculated that the animal may have wandered off a farm where it was kept as a pet.
The wolf was awake last night, and will stay at the pound for three days waiting for someone to claim it. If no one does, its future is less certain, Mr. Skeldon said.