Sunday, 30 March 2014

Endangered red wolf killed by gunshot wound

A radio-collared red wolf has recently been found dead due to a suspected gunshot wound. The wolf was found on 11 March near Creswell, in Washington County, North Carolina, and is the second red wolf killed by an apparent gunshot wound this year. US Fish and Wildlife Service and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission suspect that the wolf was killed illegally and are investigating the incident.

Once found widely throughout the southeastern United States, the red wolf is now one of the rarest canines in the world, and is federally protected in North Carolina under the Endangered Species Act as an experimental, non-essential population. This means that landowners are legally entitled to kill a red wolf if it attacks their livestock or pets. In addition, a red wolf killed accidentally during legal activity – such as coyote hunting – on private land isn’t against the law providing the death isn’t intentional. The death must also be reported to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, or the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission within 24 hours.

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