UTAH — After an extensive analysis conducted by the University of Idaho, it has been confirmed that the gray wolf, also known as the Canis lupus, that was killed in Utah on Dec. 28, 2014, is the same wolf previously seen in the Grand Canyon area.
Geneticists from the university’s Laboratory for Ecological, Evolutionary and Conservation Genetics compared the DNA from the wolf killed in Utah with samples taken from the wolf sighted near the Grand Canyon, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a press statement issued Wednesday.
“The results were conclusive that it is the same wolf, identified by the Service as 914F, which was collared near Cody, Wyoming on Jan. 8, 2014 and spotted in the Grand Canyon area in the fall of last year,” the statement said.
In December, a hunter mistakenly shot the radio-collared northern gray wolf near Beaver after mistaking it for a coyote while he was hunting.
The coyote hunter shot the wolf near the south end of the Beaver Mountains, a few miles outside of Beaver, and contacted the Division of Wildlife Resources as soon as he realized the animal he killed wasn’t a coyote.
Wolves are not common in Utah, according to the DWR website, but have been reported on occasion. In 2011, wolves were officially removed from the endangered species list in certain parts of Utah, giving state control to manage and kill wolves within that area.
The investigation into the killing of the wolf is still ongoing, the statement said.
The status of the gray wolf in Southern Utah is endangered and protected under the Endangered Species Act.
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