Conservation Wildlife Management

DNA Tests Confirm First Gray Wolf Found in Iowa in 89 Years

An Iowa hunter who shot what he believed was a coyote back in February actually shot the first gray wolf to be seen in the state in 89 years, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Just released DNA testing confirms that the animal was indeed Canis lupus.

Iowa’s DNR first received reports of wolf sightings in 2012 but none were confirmed. This recent shooting proves that they are indeed in the state.

“They [wolves] are protected animals. We know they are here. Make sure of your target. If in doubt, don’t shoot,” Vince Evelsizer, DNR furbearer specialist, told The Gazette.

As wolves haven’t been seen in Iowa in almost a century, no charges will be filed against the hunter for what was an honest mistake.