A rare white wolf had to be euthanized last month after suffering a gunshot wound in Yellowstone National Park, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said Tuesday. The alpha female was one of just three known white wolves in the park.
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Wolves of the Rockies president Marc Cooke blames critics of wolves in Yellowstone as being responsible for the white wolf's death. "Many hunting outfitters and ranchers have been unhappy about wolves since their reintroduction to the park more than 20 years ago," The Associated Press reports.
Yellowstone is offering a $5,000 reward for "information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for this criminal act." Wolves of the Rockies will add an additional $5,200 on top of that.
Yellowstone wrote in its announcement that "as the alpha female for over nine years with the same alpha male," the white wolf "had at least 20 pups, 14 of which lived to be yearlings."