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      Mystery animal in Mid-Missouri

      It could take up to six months before conservation agents figure out what a Missouri hunter shot when the thought he was bagging an unusually large coyote.

      The man -- who asked officials not to disclose his identity -- was hunting for deer Tuesday at Franklin Island Conservation Area when the animal came into range.

      The Columbia Daily Tribune (http://bit.ly/U0Ivck) reports coyotes are in season and the man had a permit, so he shot what he thought was a state-record coyote.

      But when it weighed 81 pounds -- seven pounds more than the national record -- a Cooper County conservation agent ordered it taken to a regional office for testing.

      Experts say the animal could be a wolf, a large coyote or a hybrid animal with characteristics of both