KERN COUNTY, Calif. - Wildlife researchers are celebrating this month after a single gray wolf was caught on camera wandering in our region.
The California Department of Fish & Wildlife said this is the first known wolf to return to the Central Coast in more than 100 years.
The wolf started his remarkable journey from the Oregon border and walked hundreds of miles south to San Luis Obispo County.
During that time, the wolf crossed 18 counties and several major highways before its radio collar stopped transmitting a signal.
The wolf finally showed up on a wildlife camera at a ranch in southwestern Kern County a few weeks ago.
Wildlife experts are now searching the area for wolf DNA to see which wolf visited the ranch. They will also be conducting flyovers to try and make a connection with the wolf's radio collar.
Anyone who believes they have seen a wolf in California is encouraged to report the sighting to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife.
The wolf spotted on this camera is described as being much larger than a coyote and has a purple collar around its neck.
As a reminder, wolves are protected by law in California, it is illegal to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, kill, trap or capture gray wolves.