I live is southern Illinois and yesterday chased a salamander or a newt from my garage. I've lived here for 62 years and never saw one like this. Actually, I've never seen one this big and on dry land. It was about 7-8" long. Solid goldish coloration with no markings. Bobbed tail. I live near a creek but it's about 30 yds. away. Are salamanders or newts like this starting to inhabit this region?