From this story in the Huffington Post, six endangered red wolves have been shot in the last five weeks, bringing the year’s total to nine of the rare wolves killed by gunshots since January 1. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources commission opened a five-county area to coyote hunting last year which may have lead to accidental shooting deaths of the wolves (in the photo above, the coyote is on the left and red wolf is on the right). Red wolves are smaller than gray wolves and reddish in color. Some pair with coyotes, increasing the chance they may be mistaken for a coyote.

The USFWS has designated a five-county Red Wolf Recovery Area in eastern North Carolina where only about 100 of the wolves remain. Many are radio collared or have surgically implanted abdominal transmitters.