Wolf-dog continues to roam Pennypack Park (PHOTOS)
NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA - June 26, 2012 (WPVI) -- The effort continued Tuesday to catch an animal described as a wolf-dog hybrid on the loose in Northeast Philadelphia.
Extra animal control officers were called in Tuesday night in the hunt for the so-called wolf dog.
They were armed with tranquilizers but couldn't get a clear shot.
Earlier in the day, animal control officers continued tried coax the animal out of the brush in Pennypack Park.
"I think it's great, exciting! As long as there aren't any bears in there!" said Pat and Tom Schreiber, who live nearby.
"Personally I think it's awesome. I'm a nature enthusiast. I've been out here just about every day since I heard it was here," said Nigel Hevener.
A crowd of people has gathered to catch a glimpse of the animal. Unfortunately, animal control officers say all the attention is not helping.
"The traps are set so we're hoping it goes in there and we can live-trap it and remove it safely," said Officer Jerry Czech of the Pa. Game Commission. "If we get too much of a crowd here and get too much of problem we'll have to put it down and we want to avoid that if we can."
Neighbors first spotted the animal, which looks a lot like a wolf, more than a week ago.
When they reported the sightings to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, wildlife officials assumed the neighbors had seen a coyote. Several of them live in the park.
But then neighbors began getting pictures of the animal and it became clear that it wasn't a coyote.
Neighbors say the animal comes out of the woods several times a day to rest in the grass, but it has never exhibited any aggressive behavior. In fact, people have been driving up to the edge of the park to try to feed or get photos of the animal.
But Game Commission officers are concerned that the more contact the animal has with people, the more likely it is to get spooked or feel cornered, and that could lead to problems. That's why a representative of the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania has been called in.
The hope is the animal can be trapped and brought to the sanctuary near Lititz, where it will be safe.
It's illegal for individuals to own wolves or wolf-hybrids in Pennsylvania, though zoos and educational centers can get special permits for them.
philadelphia, northeast philadelphia, animals, local/state
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