The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed that a Mexican gray wolf was killed in southwestern New Mexico earlier this year.
Genetic tests verified that the animal shot by a Department of Agriculture Wildlife Service worker was a small, female wolf and not a coyote as the worker suspected.
The incident took place in January, when the Wildlife Service employee reported the shooting of a “canine," and the agency reported no gray wolf fatalities.
Several groups reported the shooting to Fish and Wildlife, including the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity.
“So, we wonder whether if we hadn’t have gotten the tip from an insider about the killing whether anyone would’ve found out about it,” said Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate for the center.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has not released any details on the case, but did say it has been submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for review.
Tests were also under way to determine which pack the wolf came from.