Wildlife coordinator comments on animal sighting
by Courtney Warren
Apr 25, 2014 | 3562 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Over the past few days several people in the Bolivar County area have seen what they believe to be a wolf near Morrison Chapel Road and Township Road.

According to Ricky Flynt, Wildlife Coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, this isn't likely.

"We've never documented a wild wolf in the state of Mississippi so it’s most likely a coyote. Coyotes can take on all different colorations and markings, some have very dense fur coats and some aren't as dense and can look drastically different from one animal to the other," he said.

Flynt also said coyotes are very adaptable and can adapt well in urban environments as well as rural environments.

"We have occasions with them in downtown Jackson from time to time. They will avoid people most of the time and we've never had any coyote attacks on a person here. For the most part I think people should understand they should keep their distance because the coyote will naturally avoid people," he said.

Coyotes are classified as a nuisance animal in the state of Mississippi and therefore on private lands they can be hunted or trapped year round.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, "Though red wolves once ranged across the southeastern United States, years of hunting and habitat loss had driven the species to the brink of extinction by 1970," and " Today, gray wolves have populations in Alaska, northern Michigan, northern Wisconsin, western Montana, northern Idaho, northeast Oregon and the Yellowstone area of Wyoming."

To report a sighting of any animals you believe to be dangers or pose a threat call the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks at 601-432-2400.