4 rare animals have been sighted in North Dakota

Good Day Dakota

North Dakota is known for its various amounts of wildlife. But recently you might have seen some wildlife critters that aren’t so common– that have experts saying to stay clear from.

According to a recent “In Your State” article, there have been multiple sightings of some creatures that usually aren’t expected to be seen in our neck of the woods.

Reports of wolverines, black bears, mountain lions, and gray wolves have all been sighted the North Dakota in the past 2 years.

I went to North Dakota’s Game and Fish Department and asked them if this was something North Dakotans should be concerned about.

He told me that even though there are sightings that doesn’t mean they are confirmed, but does say there have been a couple of confirmed cases of those animals.

I asked them why these animals would even be in North Dakota in the first place.

Assistant Chief of the North Dakota Wildlife Division, Casey Anderson says, “Those predator animals, what happens, is when populations get to a point where there is direct competition between wolves, or between bears, or between mountain lions even, then they start to disperse out to some extent just because of resource purposes or breeding purposes.”

Anderson told me mountain lions are not very rare and that there is actually a breeding ground in the badlands of North Dakota. He also says that gray wolves and black bears are common in Minnesota and Canada, so it is not surprising to see those animals either. However, he does tell me the wolverine is out of the ordinary for North Dakota. 

He offered some advice if you do ever come in contact with any of these animals.

“If you come across one of these, you know give it their space obviously,” says Anderson. “Most of the times they won’t cause a problem if unless they feel threatened themselves. So just give it its space. A person’s got to think about: Why is it coming here? Is the dog food sitting out like things like that? One of these critters can move on pretty fast if you can remove the reason why they are there.”

Anderson told me that there hasn’t been any other reports of unusual animals other than those, but says nature wouldn’t surprise him anymore. He adds it should not be a concern and just to stay aware.

He says if you do happen to see any rare animal or animal foot tracks to contact the Game and Fish Department.

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