A three-month-old boy in Alabama was killed on Thursday by the family’s pet “wolf-hybrid,” the sheriff’s office said.
First responders received a call just before 1 p.m. Thursday concerning an animal attack on an infant at a home in Chelsea, Alabama.
The ‘Wolf-Dog Hybrid’ was ‘Playing’ with the Baby Before Attacking the Child
According to a press release, Shelby County deputies, Chelsea firefighters, and Shelby County Animal Control Officers responded to the scene, where they found the child with significant injuries. The boy was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Shelby County Coroner told Fox 6 News that the parents said the baby was on the floor when the wolf-hybrid picked him up and “started playing with him.” The parents tried to get their son away from the animal but it was too late, the outlet reported, citing the coroner.
An area vet euthanized the animal at the scene at the request of law enforcement. It was later transferred to the Alabama State Diagnostics Laboratory in Auburn for further examination and investigation. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the circumstances that led to the death of the infant.
What is a Wolf-Dog Hybrid?
Shelby County Coroner Lina Evans told media outlets that the family and investigators were aware of the dog’s lineage and confirmed there is wolf in that lineage.
A “wolf-dog” hybrid refers to offspring that result from the mating between a wolf and a domestic dog. The International Wolf Center has published an extensive online warning against bringing such hybrids into family homes.
“People who own hybrids often find that their pet’s behavior makes it a challenge to care for,” since their genetic makeup makes their behavior inconsistent and unpredictable in ways that pose safety risks to humans, the center says on its website. However, it is not illegal to own a wolf-hybrid in Chelsea or the state of Alabama.