HYDE CO., NC (WJZY) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are asking for the public's help with an investigation involving the death of a red wolf.
Officials said a federally-protected red wolf was found dead Nov. 12, 2015, near Fairfield in Hyde County, North Carolina.
Based on the condition of the body and other evidence, the actual date of death is estimated to be Oct. 31, 2015. The necropsy results recently received indicate the cause of death by gunshot.
The Service is offering a reward of $2,500 for information that leads to the successful prosecution in this case.
Anyone with information on the death of this or any other red wolf is urged to contact Resident Agent in Charge John Elofson at 404-763-7959 x222; Special Agent Jason Keith at 919-856-4520 x34; North Carolina Zone Wildlife Officer Frank Simms at 252-796-3004 x223; or North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Officer Robert Wayne at 252-269-6734.
The red wolf in North Carolina is protected under the Endangered Species Act as an experimental, non-essential population. This means that landowners may be allowed to remove a nuisance red wolf if it attacks their livestock or pets.
Additionally, a red wolf that is taken incidentally to any type of otherwise legal activity (e.g., trapping coyotes following state regulations) on private lands in the red wolf recovery area does not constitute a violation of federal regulations provided that the taking is not intentional or willful and is reported to the Service or the Commission within 24 hours.
If someone accidentally kills a red wolf, they must report it by calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service toll-free at 1-855-4-WOLVES (1-855-496-5837) or the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission at 1-800-662-7137.