John Cody(CBS) – Last year, Illinois had a wandering black bear and this year, a wandering wolf, which wasn’t as lucky on his Prairie State tour. The bear covered about 300 miles last year before heading back home to Wisconsin. The timber wolf sadly was hit by a car on February 13 just north of I-80, found lifeless that morning and taken to the Morris Veterinary Clinic to ensure it wasn’t a shooting victim. The species is federal protected.
John Cody is a veteran reporter for Newsradio 780.
“We’ve had one about once a year,” said Department of Natural Resources spokesman Chris Young. “Usually with animals like that we learn about them when they are hit by a vehicle or something happens to them.”
Young says state biologists estimate only 10 percent of the state provides suitable habitat for timber wolves, also known as gray wolves, so the chances of them establishing a breeding population in Illinois are small, at best still years away.
Dr. David Bainbridge of Morris did the autopsy on the animal which he said had been in excellent physical condition before the accident. He said the young female wolf had been eating well and looked to be extremely healthy after wandering down from Wisconsin.