Is There a Wolf Pack Living in Illinois?
Could a Wolf Pack be living in Illinois? And no I'm not referring to the Wolf Pack you hear on weekdays on The Eagle. Because that's just a gimme.
According to Jay Smith, there is a mysterious, wolflike creature creating a "Grand Central Station for wolves" in Forgottonia, IL.
Forgottonia also spelled Forgotonia, is the name that was given to a 16-county region in Western Illinois in the late 1960s and early 1970s. (as per Wikipedia) It's about 235 miles southwest of Chicago.
Smith over the last several years, along with his wife, has been managing land in a remote location and this is where the pack is believed to be living.
Five years ago, Smith made the decision to mount his trail cameras and since then has collected 40 different videos of the canines. He's also gathered at least 70 photos of them as well.
If all the info he's gathered is true, this would be the first verified wolf sighting in Illinois for decades.
While some as skeptical of Smith's claims, experts are still curious enough to do their own research into it.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Chicago's Field Museum, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are currently working together on trying to determine exactly what biological family these animals fall into. This would include mammals like wolves, coyotes, foxes, and domestic dogs.
Smith provided carcasses to the Field Museum and they have conducted a DNA test on it. Results on that are expected in the coming weeks.
The evidence so far leads experts to say that these animals could be indigenous wild dogs, coyotes, a coyote-dog mix, or even a coyote-wolf hybrid. One of the researchers thinks it's even possible that this is a species that has never been recorded before.
A new canine species discovered in Illinois?!?! How cool is that!!
Until the complete results of the study are revealed, we'll just have to speculate ourselves as to what these wolf-like dogs may be.
Here's a video Jay Smith has posted to his YouTube channel of the animals:
What do you think this animal is?