USFWS: Endangered red wolf found shot in Tyrell County, North Carolina


Federal officials are trying to determine who shot the endangered red wolf in Tyrell County this spring.

The wolf was found in a muddy field south of Newlands Road on April 15, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He was shot in the spine and fell into the mud, part of which was found in his lungs.

Killing a red wolf is illegal, except in special circumstances. The Fish and Wildlife Service is now offering a reward of $ 5,000 for information that will lead to a conviction in the case.

The Red Wolves once sat in the southeast, but after decades of habitat loss and killing by humans, they almost became extinct by 1980. The Fish and Wildlife Service gathered the remaining wild wolves and began a captive breeding program.

The first captive wolves were reintroduced to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in East North Carolina in 1987, and by 2006 it was estimated that up to 120 people lived in the wild.

Since then, the wolf population has shrunk again as animals have been shot, beaten by machines or started breeding with coyotes heading to East North Carolina from the west. Fish and Wildlife Service It is estimated that 17 to 20 red wolves are still in the wild at the end of 2021.

Last year, the Biden administration rejected President Trump’s proposal to reduce the areas where red wolves are protected and allow the killing of wolves found outside federal lands. This winter, the Fish and Wildlife Service said it was resuming its efforts to help the wolves recover.

The reintroduction of wolves has focused on five counties of the Albemarle Peninsula: Beaufort, Der, Hyde, Tyrell and Washington. This area includes the national reserves of the Alligator River and Pokuosin Lakes.

Under rules established in 1995, landowners in these counties can remove an annoying red wolf if it attacks an animal or pet. It is also not illegal to accidentally kill a red wolf through legal activities on private land, such as catching coyotes, provided the death is reported to the Fish and Wildlife Service within 24 hours.

The Fish and Wildlife Service asks anyone with information on the death of the red wolf to contact Captain Frank Sims at 252-216-7504 or Special Agent Jason Keith at 919-856-4786, ext. 34.

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Richard Stradling covers the transport for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and cars, as well as ferries, bicycles, scooters and just hiking. Also hospitals during a coronavirus outbreak. He has been a reporter or editor for 34 years, including the last 22 at The N&O. 919-829-4739,

USFWS: Endangered red wolf found shot in Tyrell County, North Carolina

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