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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

NPS: Isle Royale Wolf Was Killed By A Pellet Gun

The wolf, which left the island via ice bridge, was found dead on February 8.

by: Trent Knoss

image: NPS
image: NPS

Isle Royale National Park officials announced Friday that the wolf killed last month after leaving the island died from a pellet gun shot.  The 5-year-old female wolf nicknamed "Isabelle" is thought to have crossed onto the mainland via an ice bridge.  Her body was discovered on a Minnesota tribal reservation on February 8.  

According to a necropsy performed by the Colorado State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, the pellet entered the wolf's chest and lodged between two ribs. The wound was not immediately apparent when officials examined the body last month.  The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal reports that the shooting may have been accidental:

Although it's not known who shot the wolf or where, the animal was "likely shot by someone trying to scare it away," said Liz Valencia, park service chief of interpretation and cultural resources at Isle Royale National Park.

Valencia said such a shooting did not violate tribal regulations and she was not aware of any investigation or pending charges over the animal's death. 

Prior to her death, Isabelle was radio-collared as part of a long-term wolf tracking study being conducted by the National Park Service and Michigan Technological University.  Isle Royale hosts a population of eight or nine wolves, divided into two packs.

Read more: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal

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