A breeding female wolf monitored by the Voyageurs Wolf Project has been fatally shot, making her the fourth wolf to be illegally killed in the Voyageurs National Park region within the past two years.
The project posted an update to Facebook on Thursday, saying the death has ended the Tamarack Pack "as we know it."
"The Tamarack Pack was only a breeding pair, so shortly after the breeding female was killed, her mate became a lone wolf and has since wandered around our study area," the post reads. Organizers said other wolves will "almost certainly" take over that territory soon, as "vacant territories do not remain that way for long" in the area.
Earlier last year, Bring Me The News reported that two other wolves were "likely" illegally killed in northern Minnesota. One of the wolves was found just north of Grand Rapids, while the other was found disposed of in a river.
The University of Minnesota research project was started to address what wolves do during the summer, a question that has gone unanswered when it comes to wolf ecology. The project was started from a collaboration involving Voyageurs National Park and Northern Michigan University.
Researchers ask if anyone has any information regarding this female wolf, they are asked to call the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource's turn-in poachers tip line at 1-800-652-9093.
If you would like to donate towards this summer's project, you can visit the University of Minnesota's website.