HOLMBERG: The ‘white wolf’ of Chester. Believe it.

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Sunday morning, Brian and Angela Gibbs-Wilson were out having a nice drive when they saw a large white figure crouched in the woods beside Chalkley Road near Ironbridge Road in southern Chesterfield.

They slowed, stopped, got out their phones to photograph and film . . .

A white wolf?

It was gnawing on a deer carcass, dragging it off deeper into the woods as it saw them watching.

They studied their cell phone photos and videos, did some research, then shared those images with CBS-6.

We also heard from Stephanie Heilser, who lives less than a mile away from where the Gibbs-Wilsons saw the wolf-like creature.

She saw what looked like a white wolf in her front yard Saturday, but no one believed her.

“Yes, that’s it,” she said when we showed her the Gibbs-Wilson photos.

A fawn had been seen wandering in that area, a neighbor said. It’s unclear if the wolf-like animal had killed it itself or took advantage of a road kill.

Wolves, let alone white wolves, haven’t  been seen naturally in Virginia for generations. Wolf hybrids have become fairly rare as pets.

Chesterfield veterinarian Colleen Kida has had some experience with wolf hybrids. She looked at the photos and said she can’t really tell for sure what it is without examining it. It  might even take DNA testing to tell for sure, she said.

Typically, wolves and wolf hybrids have yellow eyes, she said. That it was so close to the road tells her it’s probably not a purebred wolf, because they shy away from humans at all costs.

She said hybrids aren’t often dangerous unless cornered. Regardless, she said, anyone who sees it should call animal control rather than trying to solve the mystery.

To the casual observer, it sure looks like a white wolf from way up north, also known as the arctic or snow wolf. Or at the least,  a hybrid. Could it have been brought here as a pet?

If it is a wolf, it will have some seriously long canine teeth.

Chesterfield Animal Control has gotten other calls about the creature.

Once we posted pictures on Facebook and aired the story Tuesday night, several  readers and viewers in that area contacted us, saying they, too, had seen it.

And we got a call from someone who may hold the keys to this white, almost-winter mystery.

We’ll be following that, and this story,  wherever it leads.

Meanwhile, here is the old Virginia legend about “The White Wolf of French Creek” from back in the days when wolves roamed the Old Dominion.



  • Jason

    About 4 years ago a white hybrid wolf named duelly was brought on a trip from Idaho to the river rd area of chesterfield….dog was very afraid of thunderstorms and got out one night…. Never found him but would be Crazy if it was him

    • Joe

      It does look like Duelly, If it is, he has had help from humans to survive this long. He was very gentle as a Pup and was around 2 when he disappeared. He was never aggressive with people including small children. I hope no one hurts him out of fear.

      • melissa rotz

        I saw this animal Saturday morning December 14th on my way to work. It was standing in the middle of the road as I turned off Ironbridge onto Harrogate road right in front of that police outpost. Cars stopped then it ran back up off the road and stared down at us. I told people at worked and they laughed at me

  • Penny Stinson-Mewhirter

    don’t know if it’s a dog or wolf..but wouldn’t be impossible, or surprising(stupid people do stupid things) …I remember in the early 80’s wolf hybrids were being sold at the Bellwood Flea Market every weekend~

  • Cindy

    Looks like a husky to me. Have owned several over the years and sure looks like one to me. DNA is the only sure way to prove. If he’s healthy and not causing issues I say leave him go.

  • Jamie

    Could be a number of mixes.. sheperd, husky, tamaskan, utonagan, northern inuit, canaan, laika, or of course a hybrid… Hope the poor thing is left alone if it is wild, or is found if it’s someone’s lost pet. Would really hate to think reports like this could be inciting fear or stirring up interest in trophy hunters.

  • Lori

    I live I Colonial Heights, near the old railroad bed. Three weeks ago I saw this animal walking down the middle of my street. It took me a few seconds to realize what I was seeing, it was so big and wild looking. I yelled at it and it stopped and looked at me over its shoulder, then ran off down the old railroad bed. I believe what I saw was a white wolf.

  • ashley

    I wish people could leave it be. Its not hurting anyone or bothering anyone and now hunters are gonna go out trying to kill it. There’s been no rumored attacks just people talking about it. Don’t call animal control and don’t kill it. Ley us enjoy the wonders of nature.

  • Jessica Bates

    This is Bull. I reported this wolf over a week ago by the Walmart in Chester and everyone said I was crazy, now their getting the credit for it. Screw you WTVR.

  • Jessica Bates

    This wolf was at ironbridge going toward Walmart and stopped right infront of my car and growled at me. It had long teeth and was built very thick and strong. It’s hind legs were bigger and fuller than it’s front and it was about as high as the hood of my car, it walked off, but it was limping like it was hurt, I called animal control just in case is was heading into Walmart, I could only imagine the caos of a wolf walking into Walmart and they pretty much laughed in my face and told me it was pretty much just a dog and so did everyone else on Facebook. Proved them right.😒

  • kenny

    Most wolves aren’t purebred as is. No way it is an arctic wolf. Definitely a hybrid, no need to examine it. Let it be.

  • Larry Lanberg

    I grew up in Chester (fled during Conquest of 8-lanes). Anyhow, I remember seeing a red fox on Rock Hill Rd. Which was basically a dirt path and I’m sure doesn’t even exist anymore — or is too is 8-lanes of asphalt and Target Superstores.

  • Breanna

    Why can’t we just let things exist as they should naturally, in all honesty, if it is a hybrid I’m relieved to know that it still has enough instinct to feed and fend for itself. Our poor choices due to our curiosity is what makes certain species go extinct. If it is a wolf people should remember that before your house was there, this was it’s home, respect it, teach your children to respect it as it is and just leave it be. Half the time they attack is due to fear anyway.

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