RALEIGH — Federal wildlife officials say a third protected red wolf has been shot to death since North Carolina adopted a new rule allowing coyotes to be hunted at night with spotlights.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday a red wolf was found last week near Creswell, near the Washington and Tyrrell county line. Other wolves were found shot on Oct. 12 in Beaufort County and Sept. 4 in Tyrrell County.
The state Wildlife Resources Commission allowed overnight coyote hunting in August.
Wildlife and environmental groups next week are seeking a court order to block the rule because red wolves resemble coyotes and are hard to tell apart even during the day.
About 100 red wolves live wild in a five-county region in Northeast North Carolina.