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HOWARD COUNTY, MO. (KTVI) – This past fall a man from southeast Missouri killed what he thought was coyote on his property in Howard County, which is near Columbia, Missouri.  But, after a closure inspection of the animal, he thought it was something else.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says that the man killed a Gray Wolf. This is a  Federally protected species.  DNA confirms the wolf is from the Great Lake states.  Officials think the wolf may have wandered down from Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan. The animal was not tagged and is not believed to have been a captive animal.

This is the third Gray Wolf killed in Missouri over the past 13 years.  Many of them were shot by hunters mistaking the wolves as coyotes.