SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah hunter who killed the first gray wolf seen near the Grand Canyon in seven decades won’t face criminal charges because he thought he was shooting a coyote, U.S. Fish and Wildlife announced Thursday.
The federal agency’s investigation concluded the hunter didn’t intentionally shoot the wolf, which is protected in Utah under the Endangered Species Act. The man, whose name was not released, realized his mistake after he saw the dead animal and immediately reported it to authorities, according to a news release. In Utah, anybody can hunt coyotes.
The 3-year-old female wolf — named “Echo” in a nationwide student contest — captured the attention of wildlife advocates across the county because it was so rare to see the animal near the Grand Canyon…
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