Fiona Kelliher, Detroit Free Press
A gray wolf relocated from Minnesota to Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park has died, the National Park Service said Tuesday.
There was no obvious cause of death, according to a release, and the wolf has been transferred to U.S. Geological Services wildlife health lab in Madison, Wisconsin, for an autopsy. Results are expected back in December.
The animal originated in Grand Portage Reservation in northeastern Minnesota, where it was captured alongside 15 other wolves earlier this fall. Four of those 16 were brought to Isle Royal after it was determined they fit the criteria for relocation determined by wildlife professionals, the agency said.
Before coming to Isle Royale, the wolves were examined, tagged and given tracking collars. The federal agency used GPS technology to follow the wolves, but the deceased wolf’s collar malfunctioned from the beginning of the project, showing a mortality signal when it was clear from cameras it was still alive.
That changed late last month, when park staff noticed another mortality signal from the wolf’s collar and set out to find it. They located the body through telemetry.
Another wolf died during the capture and sedation process in September, causing the park service to change its procedures for holding times and the use of sedatives.
The other three wolves are healthy and well, the agency said. The park’s relocation program will continue with the receipt of more wolves from Ontario this January.