DENVER, Colo. - DNA testing has confirmed a coyote hunter shot and killed an endangered gray wolf in Kremmling last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday.
An extensive DNA analysis was conducted at the agency's Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Ore., because authorities initially said the animal potentially could be a wolf-dog hybrid, a dog or a coyote.
The wolf was shot on April 29 by a legal coyote hunter, who immediately notified Colorado Parks and Wildlife , which then notified the Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a news release.
The gray wolf is protected as an endangered species by both the federal government and the state of Colorado. The Service said it routinely investigates incidents affecting endangered species and will conduct this investigation with the assistance of CPW.
Colorado is not home to any officially recognized packs, but they are capable of traveling long distances and have been conformed as visiting the state.