By Jeff Hampton
SWAN QUARTER, N.C.
The sixth endangered red wolf in a month has been found dead of a gunshot wound.
The wolf’s body was found Tuesday in Hyde County north of the Swan Quarter community, according to a release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The North Carolina Wildlife Federation, Red Wolf Coalition, Humane Society of the United States and the Center for Biological Diversity have combined to offer a reward of up to $26,000 for information on each illegal killing.
Since January, 14 red wolves have died, nine from a confirmed or suspected gunshot wound.
Red wolves are among the rarest mammals on earth. The wild population is fewer than 100 individuals living in northeastern North Carolina. The Southern Environmental Law Center has filed suit against the state for allowing night hunting of coyotes, a species that looks similar to red wolves.