By Rob Morris on November 21, 2013
Wildlife officials have discovered the body of a sixth red wolf killed in the past four weeks.
The wolf, which was found Monday on private property north of Swan Quarter in Hyde County, had apparently been shot, according to a statement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A reward of up to $26,000 has been offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction or civil penalties in the deaths, all of which occurred in Hyde, Washington and Tyrrell counties.
Red wolves are listed as endangered and have been the focus of a recovery program at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Killing an endangered animal is a federal crime.
All of the wolves killed wore radio tracking collars as part of the program. In one case, only a collar that had been cut off was found.
The North Carolina Wildlife Federation, Red Wolf Coalition, Humane Society of the United States, and the Center for Biological Diversity have contributed to the reward fund.
Fourteen red wolves have died this year. Three were hit by vehicles, one died from non-management related actions, one was undetermined but appeared to be the result of suspected illegal take and nine were confirmed or suspected gunshot deaths, the statement said.
Maximum criminal penalties for an unlawful taking are one year imprisonment and $100,000 fine.
Anyone with information should contact Resident Agent in Charge John Elofson at (404) 763-7959, Refuge Officer Frank Simms at (252) 216-7504, or North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Officer Robert Wayne at (252) 216-8225.