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Necropsies Detail Deaths of 2 Wolves in Isle Royale Relocation Effort

posted May 12, 2019, 9:25 PM by chloe owens

4/8/2019, by Tanda Gmiter, MLive

Necropsies detail deaths of 2 wolves in Isle Royale relocation effort

…The medical findings for one wolf’s death were fairly clear-cut, while scientists working on the project believe they know what killed the other wolf…The first wolf, a female, died in late September… “Necropsy results revealed no direct cause of death, but scientists think it was likely due to anesthesia-related stress," NPS staff said. Because of this belief, the wolf transfer team immediately reviewed its protocols for how the wolves were being handled, park staff said after the wolf’s death last fall. They made adjustments in the length of time captured wolves were kept in the field before they were transported, and re-evaluated how they were sedating the wolves…The second wolf to die in the relocation effort was a male…He died several weeks after being captured in Minnesota and brought to the island along with three other female wolves from that state. The post-mortem exam revealed the male wolf died of pneumonia, “... though how the wolf developed this condition is unknown,” park staff said…“Isle Royale National Park staff are saddened by the loss of these wolves. Even with an intense planning process, wildlife handling is unpredictable. Staff are committed to doing everything possible to protect the lives of all wolves involved in the relocation process…Since last fall, 13 wolves from Minnesota and Canada have been successfully trapped and flown to Michigan’s remote island in Lake Superior, which is also a national park. The park service hopes to move up to 30 new wolves to the island over the next few years to help provide predator packs to deal with a growing moose population that’s now been estimated to exceed 1,600.