Franklin County residents are advised to keep a lookout for a large gray wolf that’s been spotted roaming in the county.
It’s one of two wolves that escaped Sunday from an enclosure at a home in the 800 block of Moonlight Trail in the Robertsville/Lonedell area.
Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said a farmer shot and killed one of the wolves Monday evening when he caught it in a pen with his sheep.
The farm is located off of Wardfield Road, several miles south of where the wolves escaped.
The farmer called the sheriff’s office about 7:20 p.m. to report that he had shot a large animal, then later learned about the escaped wolves.
Toelke said agents with the Missouri Department of Conservation retrieved the dead wolf, which was outfitted with a microchip. The agents, however, said they were unable to locate the chip.
The owner of the wolves identified the dead animal, the sheriff said.
Toelke said there was a report Tuesday morning of a possible sighting of the second animal along Interstate 44, west of St. Clair. That report, however, was not confirmed.
The wolf still had not been located as The Missourian was going to press Tuesday evening and there were no new reports of sightings.
The owner of the wolves does have a license to keep the animals, Toelke said.
The man reported the escape to the conservation department which notified the sheriff’s office Monday morning.
The owner said the wolves weighed between 100 and 150 pounds.
The sheriff said anyone who spots the remaining wolf is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 636-583-2560, or Conservation Agent Ben Pursley at 636-744-2974.
There are no native wolf populations in Missouri, but some of the animals have wandered into the state from other states like Minnesota and Michigan over the years.