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Was Echo the Wolf Set Up by Utah to Be Killed?

During the fall of 2014, an endangered female gray wolf reached a wild milestone. Born in the Northern Rockies, she traveled hundreds of miles to become the first confirmed gray wolf to return to the Grand Canyon’s north rim in over 70 years. Her name was Echo. Her name was chosen from over 500 entries in a global contest. Ten-year old contest winner Zachary Tanner from Milwaukie, Oregon, said he chose the name Echo “because she came back to the Grand Canyon like an Echo does.”

On Nov. 20 two people in a vehicle saw and photographed a radio-collared wolf crossing a highway in southern Utah, 95 miles northwest of the Grand Canyon. Many speculated she was Echo. While this lone wolf kept on her feet and out of all trouble, she unknowingly became a media sensation, rewildling the minds and hearts around the world. Her homecoming, however, was not celebrated by all. Echo’s story stirred a community of wolf-haters who posted threats to do harm despite her protection under federal law.

Echo was illegally shot and killed in Utah a month later on December 28th. The hunter claimed he mistook the collared wolf for a coyote.

Recently released documents now show that officials with Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources continued to offer a bounty to encourage the killing of coyotes within the area of her sighting even though Echo was federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.

She had a name. She had a collar. She had protection under federal law. 
Was Echo set up by Utah to be killed?

Read more via Center for Biological Diversity’s Press Release.