Game officials caught the Pennypack Park wolf-dog Tuesday morning.
The wolf-dog made headlines after residents living near the Northeast Philly park became alarmed at the elusive animal's presence.
"They're a cross between a wolf and a dog," said Pennsylvania Game Commission Officer Jerry Czech during the search for the animal.
Thanks to a secret weapon, the animal was caught after more than a week of trying by game officials.
"Hot dogs were the ticket," said Game Commission Southeast Region Wildlife Education Specialist Dan Lynch in a press release announcing the capture. "It had become accustomed to eating hot dogs left in the park daily by folks concerned about its well-being. So, hot dogs were recognized immediately as our best attractant and we put them to work. It didn’t take long.
"We tried tranquilizer equipment and cage traps, with no success and so we eventually opted for foothold traps. Within three hours, it was captured. The animal was out of the trap in less than a minute and was seemingly unfazed by the experience as it sat calmly in its transport pen."
The wolf-dog is going to now roam another domain. It was moved to the 22-acre Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania in Lancaster Tuesday.
It still isn't clear if anyone could be charged for having owned the animal. Last week Kasey Lyons, 21, told NBC10 the animal was his. He says he purchased it from a breeder in Florida and named the 4-month-old puppy Levi.
Lyons said he lost Levi three-months ago while training the animal in Pennypack Park during a visit to family in Philadelphia. Lyons has since moved back to Northeast Philadelphia.
He heard about a wolf-dog wandering in the park and says he recognized it as his pet.
“No doubt in my mind that's Levi,” said Lyons. "That's 100 percent guaranteed.
"When we first saw him I started calling him and he started coming. Then there were people across the street who started walking and he darted back into the woods."
Lyons insists the animal is not a threat.
“He’s very calm and mellow,” said Lyons. “He’s laid-back and very cautious, kind of like a cat. They’ll come to you if they want to but will avoid you if they don’t.”
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