Dispersing Gray Wolf in Utah shot by Coyote Hunter
Though initially thought to be ‘Echo’, the Grand Canyon wolf, it appears to have been a different wolf.
“A hunter mistook a gray wolf for a coyote Sunday near Beaver, shooting and killing the protected 70-pound animal, Utah wildlife officials confirmed Monday.
The 3-year-old female wolf had been collared in Cody, Wyo., in January 2014. Wildlife officials and advocacy groups wonder if the dead animal is the same wolf that had been hanging around the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in recent months.
The hunter shot the wolf about five miles east of Beaver on the south end of southwestern Utah’s Tushar Mountains and called Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) law-enforcement officials upon noticing the collar. State conservation officers then contacted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
“We are still investigating,” DWR director Greg Sheehan said, “but it seems initially that it was a case of mistaken identity.”
Sheehan said the hunter could face citations for killing the animal, federally protected in that part of Utah under the Endangered Species Act. The Fish & Wildlife Service will conduct the probe.”