If you ask a wildlife official from Missouri if the state has wolves, you're likely to get an interesting response. The official comment is no, but the long answer is a lot more complicated when it comes to wolves in Missouri.

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I remember someone recently asked the Missouri Department of Conservation if the state has wolves in the ecosystem. The response was an interesting combination of saying wolves are not officially present in Missouri, but you might see one. History does show that wolf sightings in Missouri can and do happen though.

The statement from the Missouri official said "six confirmed sightings of gray wolves in Missouri" in the past 23 years.

If wolves are not native to Missouri anymore, where do the wolves who are sighted every once in awhile come from?

Missouri acknowledges that you might see a lone wolf that is traveling south from states where packs are still active like Wisconsin. Minnesota also has many active wolf packs where occasionally you'll see a stray head south through Iowa and Missouri along the river. US Fish and Wildlife mentions that several packs exist in the northern parts of the Midwest.

The gray wolf is extremely endangered and is a protected species even in Missouri where the animals are rarely seen. There are many that believe wolves should be reintroduced into Missouri to help manage the expansion northward of black bears. The fear is that the deer population would not be sufficient for both predators.

As it stands, wolves are no longer an official part of Missouri's wilderness, but that doesn't mean you can't see one.

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