ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has released a gray wolf that was trapped just outside of Rochester.

A coyote trapper found the wolf in his trap over the weekend. Except for a sore paw, the animal was released unharmed into the wild.

Southeastern Minnesota is outside the gray wolf’s normal breeding range. But wolves are becoming an increasingly common sight in that part of the state.

The Post-Bulletin reports biologists don’t believe the animals are breeding or establishing packs in the region. DNR wolf expert Dan Stark says it’s likely that gray wolves in southeastern Minnesota originate in Wisconsin rather than northern Minnesota.

Minnesota has about 3,000 gray wolves. Wolves typically live and breed in the forested northern third of the state.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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