Gray Wolf found in Nebraska, 3rd in 20 years
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — A rare sight! A gray wolf has been found in Uehling, Nebraska, as confirmed by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC).
“This is the third confirmed instance of wolf presence in Nebraska since the early 1900s,” said Sam Wilson, Game and Parks Furbearer and Carnivore program manager. “Wolves can disperse great distances from their nearest populations in the northern Rocky Mountains or Upper Great Lakes. While we don’t have any evidence of resident wolves or reproduction in Nebraska, we can expect young wolves in search of new territory to cover long distances and make it to Nebraska from time to time.”
Coyote hunters legally shot the large canine on Jan. 28, 2021. Turning it over state officials, NGPC used genetic testing to confirm the animal was a female gray wolf.
The first confirmation of a wolf in Nebraska happened near Spaulding in 2002. The second, south of Bassett in 2020. All three wolves were genetically linked to a population in the upper Great Lakes.
The easiest way to tell the difference between wolves from any other canine is size. Female wolves typically range from 4.5 to 6 feet long and weigh 70 to 115 lbs, reports NGPC.
Despite their name, Gray Wolves can range in color from gray, white, black, and brown.
Gray Wolves were added to the federal Endangered species list in 1978, only to be removed in January 2021.