An Iowa gray wolf, the first seen in the state in 89 years, was killed by a coyote hunter.
DNA results confirmed that a 65-70 pound gray wolf, a protected species in Iowa, was accidentally shot by a coyote hunter in February of this year, according to TheGazette.com.
The Iowa Department of Resources said it was the first confirmed gray wolf within the state’s borders since 1925.
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Despite the gray wolf’s protected status, the DNR did not cite the unidentified hunter for mistaking it for a coyote.
To his respect, the hunter was reported to have presumed he had shot a wolf, and promptly took it to the DNR office in Manchester.
Experts believe the wolf traveled through Wisconsin or Minnesota into Iowa.
The gray wolf was officially removed from the federal endangered and threatened list in 2009 — but since it is a designated furbearer, the gray wolf remains protected under Iowa state code.