Grey Wolf Appears in Iowa for First Time in 89 Years – And Is Shot Dead

"Hunter mistook animal for a coyote and escapes being cited despite wolves being a protected species in the state."

"DNA testing has confirmed that an animal shot in February in Iowa's Buchanan County was in fact a wolf, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. This is the first confirmed grey wolf (Canis lupus) in the US state since 1925.

Experts believe the wolf likely travelled south from Wisconsin or Minnesota, the latter of which has the largest wolf population in the lower 48.

The Iowa wolf, which was a 65-70 pound healthy female, was shot and killed in February of this year by a hunter who mistook it for a coyote. Although wolves remain a protected species in Iowa, the hunter was not cited, because he believed the animal to be a coyote and has cooperated with authorities, including bringing the wolf to them in the first place. "

Jeremy Hance reports for Mongabay as part of the Guardian Environment Network May 12, 2014.

Thursday, May 15, 2014