Endangered Red Wolf Shot Dead in Eastern North Carolina | Triangulator | Indy Week
Pin It

Endangered Red Wolf Shot Dead in Eastern North Carolina 

As if the endangered red wolves in eastern North Carolina didn't have enough to worry about—fleeting support from the federal government and a lobbying effort from politically connected landowners to remove the species—now they are being picked off by humans with guns.

A red wolf was found shot dead December 21 in Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. And while the government has offered a $2,500 reward for information (the Defenders of Wildlife has said it will match that figure), environmentalists and animal advocates argue the USFWS is partially to blame, as it has failed to properly protect the species, despite the existence of the now-flailing Red Wolf Recovery Program.

Ben Prater, the Defenders of Wildlife's southeast program director, called the shooting a "huge blow to the species," as there are currently fewer than forty-five red wolves remaining in the wild.

"The poaching of any wild animal is intolerable, but the intentional killing of one of the world's most endangered species is inexcusable," Prater says.

But is it? In a letter penned by nine members of Congress last month, the USFWS came under fire for, essentially, pushing North Carolina's red wolf population to the brink of extinction. The representatives—all Democrats, none from North Carolina—said the government has failed the "iconic animal" by abandoning its responsibility to protect the wolves and turning a blind eye to "suspected illegal takes, allowing local opponents of recovery to believe that they can kill wolves with impunity. Of the seventeen wolves killed by gunshot since 2013, there has not been a single prosecution."

Advocates hope that this latest incident, however, will not go unnoticed, as the shooter not only broke the law but ignored a temporary injunction issued by District Court Judge Terrence Boyle this fall that prohibits landowners from shooting the wolves. (It's possible the wolf was shot on private property and then moved to the refuge.)

In the meantime, they'll push the Cooper administration to demand that the federal government reverse recent USFWS actions that they deem detrimental: since 2012, the feds have eliminated the position of the red wolf recovery coordinator, redirected staff to other programs, ended a successful pup-fostering program and coyote sterilization efforts, and halted introductions of captive red wolves into the wild.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Triangulator



Twitter Activity

Comments

You interviewed and photographed eight people about the new Raleigh logo, and only 2 of them are Raleigh residents? That …

by frgyandres on What’s the First Thing You Think of When You See Raleigh’s New Logo? (Triangulator)

Looks like "weed". Will we be the next Colorado?

by Bud Light on What’s the First Thing You Think of When You See Raleigh’s New Logo? (Triangulator)

Most Recent Comments

You interviewed and photographed eight people about the new Raleigh logo, and only 2 of them are Raleigh residents? That …

by frgyandres on What’s the First Thing You Think of When You See Raleigh’s New Logo? (Triangulator)

Looks like "weed". Will we be the next Colorado?

by Bud Light on What’s the First Thing You Think of When You See Raleigh’s New Logo? (Triangulator)

I am trying to get answers to. About my brother death in Durham county jail am just read all this …

by Tenisa Ruffin on Durham County Jail Provider Correct Care Solutions Faces Scrutiny (Triangulator)

This might have been a close call amid Wake's many needs, but Commissioners Calabria, Burns, Portman, and Hutchinson surely made …

by Leanne Sigmon on Over Their Own Staff’s Objection, Wake Commissioners Move Forward With a $23 Million Park (Triangulator)

Demolish the building and start fresh on the site with a mix of uses - small retail, office or lab …

by Durham451 on What Should Durham Do With Its Soon-Vacant Police Headquarters? (Triangulator)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation