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4th red wolf shot since NC loosened coyote hunting

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MANTEO, N.C. (AP) - Federal wildlife officials say a fourth protected red wolf has been shot to death since North Carolina adopted a new rule allowing coyotes to be hunted at night with spotlights.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday a red wolf with a radio collar was found Thursday with a suspected gunshot wound north of Fairfield in Hyde County. It's the fourth death of a radio-collared red wolf since September.

The state Wildlife Resources Commission allowed overnight coyote hunting in August.

Wildlife and environmental groups oppose the rule because red wolves resemble coyotes and are hard to tell apart even during the day.

About 100 red wolves live wild in a five-county region in northeast North Carolina. Red wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Red Wolf Shot - when?

The US Fish & Wildlife Service has not released the time of day that these wolves were shot, citing ongoing investigation rules.

Since that is the case, why does the AP include the information that these animals were shot after NC legalized night hunting for coyotes in it's very first sentence?