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Can Utah Do More to Protect Wolves from Bullets Meant for Coyotes?

posted Jan 15, 2016, 1:36 PM by chloe owens   [ updated Jan 15, 2016, 1:37 PM ]

9/10/15, by Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune

Can Utah do more to protect wolves from bullets meant for coyotes?

On a fall morning last year, two men driving along State Route 14 on Utah’s Cedar Mountain saw a large canine saunter onto the road. At first they though the animal was their dog, but soon realized it could be a gray wolf…Around its neck they saw what appeared to be a black collar holding a silver box…Although the men reported the wolf sighting and posted photos of the animal and its tracks, DWR did nothing to alert the hunting community to take precautions to avoid shooting a wolf…Hardly a month later…the same one observed on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim last October and dubbed Echo – was shot…Managing wildlife is a state prerogative, but conservationists believe Utah’s coyote program could run afoul of the federal Endangered Species Act if safeguards are not in place to protect wolves from such instances of mistaken identity.