State wildlife biologists suspect one of two young wolves in northern Lower Michigan has been illegally killed.
Two female pups were mistakenly caught in coyote traps last fall. Technicians with the state Department of Natural Resources and Environment put radio collars on them.
Radio trackers found live signals on January 14th and then a mortality signal for one of the young wolves on the 19th.
Lieutenant Jim Gorno with the DNRE says the radio collar had been cut off and left by the side of a road east of Pellston.
"Someone had the intent to conceal this act. So we feel the animal was poached purposely or possibly accidentally shot," he says.
Wolves continue to be on the endangered species list and cannot be killed except in defense of human life.
Last winter, federal wildlife officials reported a spike in illegal wolf kills in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. But investigators didn't find enough evidence to bring charges despite substantial rewards for information.
Wildlife protection groups are offering $1,500 in reward money in this latest case.