The Michigan DNR was flooded with calls about a photo taken with a huge wolf.
In this day of the Internet sharing images and information in an instant, it’s not uncommon to have rumors start up and quickly get out of hand as they are spread far and wide via social media.
And these rumors tend to spread even faster when they are about things that may be hot button issues, like wolves in Michigan.
Earlier this week, a photo began circulating the Web of a hunter holding a huge wolf. At some point along the way, the photo was falsely attributed as having been taken in Clare or “Claire” Michigan and the photo and rumor spread like wildfire MLive.com reports.
The original Facebook post identifying the wolf as being from Michigan was shared over 6,000 times.
Because wolf hunting is not allowed in Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources was hit with poaching calls about the photo. It was enough to prompt the DNR to issue a response to quell the rumors.
“The photo was actually taken at a game ranch in Canada,” the DNR said in a statement on Facebook. “We appreciate people bringing this to our attention. Because this photo does not depict a Michigan wolf, we ask that people refrain from reporting this photo to the Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline.”
If someone was trying to start a rumor, they didn’t do a very good job. The original post misspelled the real town of Clare as “Claire.” Mlive.com reports DNR Captain Wade Hamilton believes a simple misunderstanding is to blame. The wolf in question was shot by someone utilizing Harrison Crossing Outfitters in Saskatchewan.
Coincidentally, Harrison, Michigan is close to Clare. Even though it was a false alarm, the DNR is happy to see citizens are on the lookout for wildlife violations.
“It’s great to have outdoor enthusiasts doing their best to notify us of possible illegal activity, but we’d like to free up our hotline phones for reports of poaching, hunter harassment or other violations, especially as we approach the start of the firearm deer season,” the statement concluded.