Illustration of a waheela by Tim Morris (Pristichampsus on DeviantArt)
An amphicyonid drawn by "Corytregoerdner" on Artstation
Waheelas are an unknown carnivorous mammal inhabiting the Taiga of the Northwest Territories down into the northern Prairie Provinces and northern Ontario. Waheelas resemble normal wolves, albeit more heavily built and a wide, more robust head. Their fur is long and is often described as light grey, cream or white in colour. The animal’s front legs are said to be shorter than the hind legs. Waheelas have more bear-shaped smaller ears than wolves do. The tracks of a waheela look like a large wolf track with more widely spaced toes, presumably to balance out its weight. Witnesses describe it as being about 3.5 feet to 4 feet at the shoulder. Waheelas are never seen in packs, so they're presumably solitary. It has been theorized that the Waheela is an Amphicyonid, due to their physical and geographical similarities. People have also theorized it to be related to hyenas, due to the front legs being longer than the back, uncharacteristic of canids. Some have also theorized them to be dire wolves, due to their tracks appearance and body shape. A very similar creature reported in the American Midwest, Southwest, and the southern Prairie Provinces, called the shunka warak’in is disputed whether it is the same species as the waheela or is a separate cryptid.
Frank Graves, originally a mechanic from Philadelphia went on an expedition alongside 30 university students into the mysterious Nahanni Valley in the Northwest Territories, known for its remoteness and legends surrounding the area. While in the Valley, Frank and his local guide, a First Nations Dené man, hiked to Virginia Falls. Eventually, they came across a grassy clearing where they spotted a group of wild fowl, and Frank’s guide and his hunting dog went in to shoot them, leaving Frank alone. After a while of waiting, Frank noticed an enormous white coloured “wolf” come out of the brush. It was 3.5 feet at the shoulders, had an unusually large and wide head, and was covered in long, shaggy fur. After it got to within 50 feet of him, he shot at it twice with his 12-gauge shotgun, which was loaded with birdshot and heavy ball. Frank believed that he managed to hit the animal in its left flank, but it didn’t fall, and instead “ambled back into the forest”, presumably shielded by its dense coat and thick hide. When his guide returned and he explained his encounter, the guide said that he “knew of such animals, but considered them to be evil, ill-omened entities.”
An unnamed (different) mechanic from Yellowknife described his Waheela sighting in the 1970s. He reported that it “looked like a wolf on steroids”. He estimated its height at three and a half feet at the shoulder. The largest wolves ever recorded have been three feet, two inches tall at the shoulder, but specimens this large are very uncommon. If the mechanic's estimate was correct, then this animal was, at least, four inches taller than the biggest wolf we know of. In 1970, a man from Moosonee, Ontario described an encounter with a waheela and described it in great detail, saying it resembled a mix between a Husky and an Alsatian. Cryptozoologist Mark A. Hall recorded many sightings of “mean looking white hyena-like wolves” in Alberta in the 1990s. In the spring of 2011, Justin Watkins and his friends were driving their car home from a gas station near Spruce Lake, in northern Saskatchewan, when they noticed a strange wolf-like creature in a ditch just off the road. They watched as it kept pace with their 40 km/h car, leaping huge seven foot strides, with an unusually graceful gait, more like a cougar than a dog. They slowed down and it ran in front of the vehicle, which they could see clearly in their headlights. It was five to six feet in height, four to five hundred pounds and had a silver coat, a wide head and small ears.