Unusual case of automutilation in a free-ranging grey wolf (Canis lupus)

In Germany, all information about the Central European Lowland Wolf population is aggregated by the Federal Documentation and Consultation Centre on Wolves (DBBW). The dataset on wolves found dead was an important source of supplementary information for this study in particular. In January 2020, our examination of a wolf cadaver revealed a vertebral fracture that caused a complete severance of the spinal cord. Furthermore, the presence of a canid claw in the stomach of the specimen indicated that we encountered a rare case of automutilation in a wild animal, which was subsequently confirmed when the genetic analysis determined that the claw belonged to the examined wolf.

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