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Gray wolf

Gray wolf

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah wildlife officials say a coyote hunter accidentally shot and killed a federally-protected gray wolf in southwest Utah near the city of Beaver over the weekend.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says in a statement that the hunter was in the Tushar Mountains on Sunday and mistook the wolf for a coyote.

DWR says the hunter contacted the agency after realizing the error.

Officials say the animal was a 3-year-old female northern gray wolf. It had been collared in January near Cody, Wyoming.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Steve Segin says the wolf was protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Segin says state and federal wildlife officials are investigating and it's too soon to say what penalties the hunter could face.

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