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Red wolves once ranged throughout the southeastern United States, including the Ozark Highlands of Missouri, but they have been absent from the Missouri landscape since the 1950s.

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Hunter-Shot Coyote is Wolf

DNA shows hunter-shot canine from October to be wandering wolf

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USFWS confirms animal shot in Howard County last fall to be a gray wolf, not coyote.

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Collared, grayish-tan wolf in open field

Gray Wolf (Timber Wolf)

Canis lupus
The gray wolf originally ranged throughout Missouri, but with settlement the species was gradually exterminated. While there is no evidence of a breeding population in the state, wolves are listed as a protected species in Missouri, and they occasionally wander into Missouri from northern states.

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Wolf with reddish coat

Red Wolf

Once native to southern Missouri, the red wolf was declared extinct in the wild in the 1970s. In 1987, a small group of captive red wolves was reintroduced to rural eastern North Carolina. Weighing 40 to 70 pounds, a red wolf is about twice the size of an average coyote. However, it is highly unlikely you will see a red wolf in the wild in Missouri.

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