Three conservation groups asked a judge in a federal court Monday to stop coyote hunting in five coastal N.C. counties, saying the practice is killing lookalike red wolves.
According to the Charlotte Observer, five of the endangered wolves have been shot since mid-October.
Rewards totaling $26,000 have been offered for information on the shootings.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission allows an open hunting season on coyotes, but young red wolves resemble coyotes and are being killed because of the confusion.
The motion filed Monday asks that a U.S. District Court judge stop coyote hunting in Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde, Washington and Beaufort counties. About a 100 red wolves run wild in these counties.
It was reported that the Wildlife Resources Commission had no immediate response.
So far this year, 14 red wolves are known to have died. Eight gunshot deaths were confirmed and two more suspected.
Killing red wolves is punishable by up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Source: The Charlotte Observer