Even the "accidents" can be disturbing, as they often involve shootings, poisons and snares meant to kill other animals, like foxes and wild boars. Some hunters and livestock breeders, including the suspect, claim these animals, along with wolves, hurt their livelihood.
Caniglia admits that wolves and other carnivores have preyed on domestic herds. But he and his colleagues think that "hunters wrongly maintain the idea that wolves are competitors for the same wild ungulate game -- wild boar, red deer, roe deer and fallow deer."
Nadia Mucci, an ISPRA researcher who did not work on the necklace project, told Discovery News that she expects the study to bolster the use of forensic DNA in cases involving the illegal killing and trade of animals.
She was "astonished by the high percentage of positive results obtained from DNA extracted from teeth," but said the scientists have "developed a very efficient protocol for the identification of genotypes from low concentrated and degraded DNA."
Clearly not all suspected killers wear their alleged victims' teeth on a necklace, but Caniglia is quick to point out that DNA can also be obtained from hair, saliva, bone fragments, skin and fur.