The state Department of Natural Resources says seven wolves were illegally killed during the recent deer hunting season. DNR mammal ecologist Adrian Wydeven says the four of the animals shot were wearing radio collars. Hunters reported finding three other dead wolves in fields or wooded areas.
Wydeven says it’s not the first time wolves have been targeted by hunters, even though they remain a protected endangered species. Over the last five years 29 wolves were killed during the gun hunting season.
Wydeven says some of the shootings are accidental. However, he say they are also a sign of the rising tensions between humans and the wolf population. The state is asking the federal government to de-list the animals, which officials say would allow them to more effectively manage wolves that go after livestock or pets.
Anyone with information about the shootings is urged to contact the DNR.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:08)