Wolf Running Loose in Olympic Dorm Was a Dog (Update: And a Trick)

The Internet has heard Kate cry wolf, and it kind of sounds like she might be crying wolf.

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Update: Oh ha ha ha. The Sochi "wolf" video is just a Jimmy Kimmel hoax, orchestrated with Hansen's help. As far as we can tell from Inside Edition's report, the late night host hilariously convinced an Olympic athlete to lie about the species of a dog in her hallway. The dog was, we guess, placed there deliberately.

Original post: Beyoncé-loving American luger Kate Hansen has her own #SochiProblem. It's a wolf, apparently wandering the halls of the Olympic Village. At least, that's story being told in this video that she uploaded to YouTube and an incredulous tweet that made us all shake our head and chuckle and think "In Sochi, anything can happen!"

But isn't this whole "wolf in my hallway," thing a little suspicious, even in a town known for its numerous packs of wild orphan dogs? Is that even really a wolf at all? Is this just a prank by sadly-sober Kate on her partying friends?

The Internet has heard Kate cry wolf, and it kind of sounds like she might be crying wolf. After agreeing that the wolf was more likely some type of wolf-like stray dog, everyone started fact-checking the YouTube video. Some found a way to link this whole wolf thing to the only other nugget of information most Americans have about Hansen, which is that she loves Beyoncé

According to Fox, she might even love Beyonce so much that she can't tell a wolf from a dog.

Hansen, who grew up in Southern California and is best known for being a big Beyonce fan, may not know a husky from a timberwolf. 

Even if it wasn't Beyonce who clouded her vision, experts agree that probably wasn't a wolf. Of course, that's doesn't totally explain why a husky has the run of the Olympic Village either.

The Sochi Olympic Village is not that close to the Sochi National Park (about 30 kilometers per Google Maps,) but its not far enough to rule out the possibility of a rogue wolf entering the park altogether. According to the Sochi Park website, Grey Wolves "wander through the park’s mountain forests."

A grey wolf. AP

Veterinarian and Humane Society UK director Mark Jones told NBC that he thinks the animal looks more like a husky. According to a blog post on the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary (an Alberta-based rescue organization) there are a few ways to differentiate between a wolf and a dog, including many characteristics that the video doesn't show and some that it does:

Eyes: Wolves may have pale or green-colored eyes, but they don't carry the gene for blue eyes. They also have slanted, almond-shaped eyes with a heavy lining. 

Tail: According to the post, "most often one will view wolves that have black tail tips." They also have something called a "caudal mark," which indicates the presence of a precaudal gland with a black mark around midway down the tail.  

It's kind of hard to tell from the video, but the animal does seem to have a pretty wolf-like face. However, the animal's tail appears more dog-like. It doesn't have a black tip, and it doesn't appear to have any defining mark on it.

Also, Sochi's stray dog problem is less than secret. It's more reasonable to assume that one of those let itself into the likely poorly guarded, doorknob-less, half-finished hotel, than that a pretty mellow wolf did the same thing. Then again, a Siberian town did have to battle a 400-strong pack of wolves last year, so you never know.

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