Wolf In New Jersey: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Wolf In New Jersey
Wolf In New Jersey: Everything You Need To Know

New Jersey, despite its tiny size, the Garden State is home to a surprising collection of wildlife, including coyotes, bobcats, and bears. 

But are there wolves present in New Jersey? This question might appear to be out of place, provided that the state is one of the most densely inhabited in the nation, but it is not completely groundless.

In this article, I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the wolves in the state of New Jersey.

Are There Wolves In New Jersey?

While there have been a few statements of wolf spotting in New Jersey, there is no proof of a resident population of wolves within the state.

Historically, in 1869 a wild wolf was last confirmed to be spotted in New Jersey, and since then, there have been only a few statements of wolves or wolf-like creatures, most of which were not confirmed.

In recent decades, DNA testing has proved the existence of a few wolves that probably migrated into the state from the neighboring state residents, but there is no trace of a breeding resident. 

Where To See Wolves In New Jersey?

Presently, there are no wolves living in the wild in New Jersey, however, if you was to see one then you can visit them in detention. 

The reintroduction projects are being executed and captured wolves in wolf research centers and zoos, are being kept to guarantee that the genetic pure wolf species are preserved. 

The Turtleback Zoo, in New Jersey houses Wolf Woods habitat where you can spot timber wolves close up through safety glass panels. There are also many viewing stations that allow you to view wolves from various angles. You can see them crossing the streams, relaxing on logs and rocky outcroppings from the windows.

Similarly, the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, New Jersey, is also a very popular spot for wolf enthusiasts. It is home to many packs of Timber and Gray Wolves that are being grown in detention and cannot be freed into the wild. Visitors can go on guided tours to understand their behavior, conservation, and ecology, and observe them in their habitats.

Were There Ever Wolves In Nj?

Wolf In New Jersey
Wolf In New Jersey: Everything You Need To Know

It is believed that there were wild wolves inhabited in New Jersey centuries ago. However, there is very less concrete evidence to verify this fact.

Spottings of wolves have been documented in the region since the 1800s, but still, there is no definite proof that they actually existed in New Jersey. As a result, the existence of wolves in New Jersey remains unknown.

Despite rare unconfirmed spottings and the distribution of wolves into the state from neighboring states, there is presently no evidence of a resident population of wolves in New Jersey. 

Also Check Our Guide On Wolves In Ohio

Can You Own A Wolf In New Jersey?

No, you can not own a wolf in New Jersey. The breeding, possession, and sale of wolves are controlled by the Division of Fish and Wildlife under the Wildlife Act. The law regards wolves as dangerous wild animals that need specialized handling, care, and lodging. 

Only licensed research institutions, zoos, and educational establishments are permitted to have wolves in detention, with stringent rules concerning animal safety and welfare. Individuals found violating the law might face imprisonment, fines, and the confiscation of their animals. 

However, it is legal to own a wolf dog also known as a wolf-hybrid dog. But, the person must show verification that the animal owned is a hybrid.

Do Coywolves Live In Nj? And What Are They?

Coywolves are a cross between wolves and coyotes and they are believed to be present in New Jersey. 

They are a hybrid species that has emerged from the interbreeding of eastern wolves and western coyotes, thus they have the genetic makeup of 20% wolf and 80% coyote. They have adjusted well to urban areas in the eastern U.S., including New Jersey.

Coywolves are reported to be present in all 21 counties of New Jersey, and there is believed to be beneficial predator in the ecosystem, as they control the populations of deer and support biodiversity. However, they also have a threat to livestock and pets, and it is essential for citizens to take steps to avoid disputes with these animals.

Coywolves have behavioral and physical characteristics that make them suitable for thriving in these conditions. They are bigger than western coyotes, with gray to brown fur, bigger ears, longer legs, and a wolf-like impression. They often live in packs or groups and are aggressive feeders, preying on small to medium-sized animals and scavenging human garbage.

Also Check Our Guide On Wolves In US


And that was everything you need to know about the wolves in New Jersey. I hope this article answered your queries.

Thank You For Reading!

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