Coyote hunters shot an animal in northwest Kansas this December that they later believed was too large to be a coyote. It turns out they were right.
Following tissue testing, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed that the 80-plus-pound male canine the Kansas hunters shot is a full-blooded Great Lakes gray wolf. It is the first documented wolf in Kansas since 1905.
Officials are now wondering how this wolf ended up in Kansas. Great Lake wolves have been known to disperse from their core area — parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — but they typically do not go much further south than central Iowa. However, a few wolves have been killed in neighboring Missouri. Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism officials have also not ruled out the possibility that the wolf escaped from captivity.