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Wolves in Illinois

Trail camera captures rare wolf in state; coyote hunter later shoots it

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Wolves are back on the campaign trail to dominate the news cycle at all costs, it seems. After potentially attacking and killing a woman in Alaska, now a wolf has been spotted in Illinois. This didn’t turn out so well for the wolf, though: A hunter shot the lone land-o’-Lincoln wolf near Walnut, mistaking it for a coyote.

Wildlife officials are DNA-testing the wolf; it’s the only way to be certain that it isn’t a hybrid or another canine. But at 140 pounds, this large animal certainly fits the size range. Any wolf straying int Illinois is classified as endangered, but accidental shootings aren’t prosecuted.

Young male wolves often range far and wide, and it’s likely that this one came from Wisconsin. Four other wolf sightings have been confirmed in Illinois in modern times; three were shot and one was hit by a car near Chain O’ Lakes State Park. If confirmed, this will be the farthest south a wolf has ranged in the Midwest.

People are already choosing sides about how wolves might affect local deer populations and hunting. Any press is good press, eh wolves?

—Ted Alvarez

via Sun Times

Image credit: Heartlandillinois.com