Endangered grey wolf caught in foothold trap and shot in the head

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In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, an investigation into the death  of an endangered grey wolf, after it was caught in a foothold trap and shot in the head, has been launched.

According to the Metro Times, conservation officers and wildlife biologists had been notified of three wolves accidentally caught in traps; two of the endangered animals were successfully freed back into the wild. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed the first incident occurred in District 2 – the eastern part of Upper Peninsula. A local trapper who accidentally caught two wolves contacted the agency. Another accidental trapping occurred in the western part of the state.

DNR Officer Robert Freeborn found the first wolf had been shot in the head while still trapped. The second wolf was fine and able to be released with no injuries. The third wolf was described as an aggressive 80-pound male grey who had to be sedated before he could safely be released. It is suspected the wolf had been killed by poachers.

Statistics in Michigan indicate approximately 600 grey wolves live in packs in the state, and the animals remain a federally protected species. They can only be killed legally in self defense when a person’s life is being threatened.

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