Are wolves living in Illinois? Possibly!!! Last week, a trail cam near Oregon, IL captured a picture of what appears to be a wolf according to Bob Bluett, a wildlife biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. According to Bluett, wolf populations in the northern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan are starting to increase. Young males from these populations have been roaming hundreds of miles in search of mates. Wolves started reappearing in Illinois in 2005. Before that, it is believed that they haven't been in Illinois since the 1850's. Wolves are currently federally and state-protected animals.
What does the comeback of wolves mean to Illinois? The only big inconvenience for the average person is that you will have to keep a closer eye on any outdoor cats or small dogs that you have, but you should already be doing this with the increased coyote population over the past decade. According to Bluett, "wolves have more to be afraid of from us then we have of them." Like coyotes, wolves are generally going to avoid humans.
Are you excited about the possibility of wolves being back in Illinois? Write your thoughts below.