A hunter accidentally shot and killed a gray wolf near Beaver, Utah, on Sunday, mistaking the animal for a coyote.
The three-year-old female northern gray wolf may be the same one that made news in October as the first of its kind to be seen in the Grand Canyon since the 1940s. That wolf, dubbed “Echo” on the Web, traveled at least 450 miles from Wyoming to the Grand Canyon. The recently slain wolf wore a tracking collar, and the location where she was shot indicates that she is likely Echo, the Arizona Republic reports. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will use DNA analysis to ascertain whether the wolf was, in fact, Echo.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that this is the first documented killing of a gray wolf in Utah since the animals were reintroduced to the area in the 1990s. Several states this year have reclassified the gray wolf as an endangered species after it was removed from the federal endangered species list in 2012. Killing an endangered animal can result in fines and prison time.