For the first time in Switzerland, a dog-wolf hybrid has been shot. Genetic analyzes of the animal killed in March in Graubünden have confirmed that it was the result of a cross between a dog and a wolf.
Analyzes carried out by the Laboratory for Conservation Biology (LBC) in Lausanne and the Senckenberg Center for Wild Animal Genetics in Gelnhausen (Germany) revealed that it was a second-generation backcross animal, a indicated on Monday the office of hunting and fishing of the canton of Graubünden.
The animal had attracted attention because of the particularly light coloring of its coat. He most likely migrated from northern Italy to Graubünden via Ticino. The share of wolf in the genetic heritage of the hybrid comes from the population of the Italian Alps. However, the exact origin of the animal is not known.
At the end of December 2021, the Graubünden authorities were informed of the presence of a suspected beige-colored hybrid near Domodossola, Italy. The canine was then seen in Ticino, then in March in the Rhine valley, in the region of Chur.
According to the Federal Hunting Act, suspected hybrids must be killed by the cantonal authorities in the event of justified suspicions. The killing of the animal in Graubünden was carried out in agreement with the Federal Office for the Environment.
First hybrid in Switzerland
The animal killed in Graubünden is the first descendant of a mating between a dog and a wolf to have been identified in Switzerland. There is currently no indication of the presence of other hybrids in the canton of Grisons, specifies the cantonal office of hunting and fishing.
An animal suspected of being a dog-wolf hybrid was killed at the end of January in Valais. However, the analyzes carried out on the remains showed that it was a genetically pure wolf.