The red wolf was found dead Dec. 21 in the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. An examination indicated it was likely killed by a gunshot on Dec. 19.
Federal authorities are offering a hefty reward to find out who shot and killed a rare red wolf just before Christmas.
Red wolves are a protected species. Information leading to an arrest could bring a reward of $2,500, according to a news release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The red wolf was found dead Dec. 21 in the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. An examination indicated it was likely killed by a gunshot on Dec. 19, according to the release.
Landowners can kill a nuisance red wolf if it attacks livestock or pets. The small wolves have also been shot after being mistaken for coyotes.
The number of red wolves roaming 1.7 million acres in five rural counties in eastern North Carolina has fallen to below 50 animals, about half the number counted four years ago. Environmental groups have filed suit against the federal government over the red wolf restoration program.
Anyone with information can contact federal wildlife officer Frank Simms at 252-216-7504 or special agent Jason Keith at 919-856-4520, ext. 34.