A Wildlife Services employee is under investigation for the killing of an endangered Mexican gray wolf in January, according to a federal spokesperson. The Albuquerque Journal reported that vague details issued by the spokesperson and a government report suggest that the employee was investigating two livestock deaths on January 19 and may have mistakenly identified the endangered wolf for a coyote and shot it.
“While on-site he lethally removed a canine, which was then identified as possibly a Mexican wolf,” Wildlife Services spokesperson Carol Bannerman wrote to the Albuquerque Journal.
Bannerman went on to tell the Albuquerque Journal that the federal employee reported the incident immediately, but the January federal report of wolf deaths listed "no wolf mortalities." The United States Fish and Wildlife Service listed the total wild population of the Mexican gray wolf at 75 at the end of 2012. The agency has not offered an explanation of what happened.
The Center of Biological Diversity, which tipped off the Albuquerque Journal to the incident, issued a statement through its director. “I am once again sad that a Mexican wolf … has needlessly died, and it is infuriating that he or she was killed by a trigger-happy government agent who was supposed to help recover this unique and endangered subspecies of the gray wolf,” said Michael Robinson. “The shooter should be off the job and should be prosecuted.”
On Sunday, an online petition was field on Care2 to have the federal employee fired.
For more, read "Wildlife Employee Investigated in Wolf Killing."