The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has confirmed wolf tracks have been discovered near the Idaho Falls Country Club neighborhood south of town.
Anytime a wild animal is present near a population center it's important to be on the look out. But Fish and Game said residents may not need to worry for themselves, but for their pets.
"I would expect to hear more about a lion than a wolf, but then again, they both travel," said Country Club area resident Brenda McMurtrey.
For McMurtrey, living on the Idaho Falls fringe means wildlife is just another neighbor.
"I actually kind of expect it," she said.
McMurtrey said her pug, Madge, isn't really afraid of anything. But with wolf tracks spotted nearby she said she will stay vigilant.
"I'd actually go out with the animal as opposed to letting them out on their own," she said.
Fish and Game's Gregg Losinski said that's a perfect idea.
"They're not looking for a meal, they're looking for a mate," he said.
He said there's a simple explanation for why wolves may be venturing into more populated areas. The department has been monitoring a pack of wolves living on the other side of the Taylor Mountain ridge area for years. As the mating season begins, they're starting to move into town.
They're looking for potential mates outside their own packs, said Losinski.
"To a wolf, everything that's related as a canine, could be a potential mate," he said.
Losinski said to watch for tracks spaced about 4 feet apart.
"There needs to be a large stretch between the tracks to know it is a wolf and not just a large dog," said Losinski.
Wolf tracks will have nail marks above the foot pads. Their tracks are unlike mountain lions, that retract their claws.
For McMurtrey, vigilance is just routine.
"It's Idaho," she said.
The department said these wolves are likely on their own, not in a pack. So make yourself known with loud noises, and you should be just fine.
If you are approached by a wolf, or you feel like you may be in immediate danger of attack, Fish and Game said it is within your right to defend yourself. But officials said you need to be able to demonstrate being in immediate danger.