RALEIGH, North Carolina — Wildlife advocacy groups say federal officials violated the Endangered Species Act by allowing landowners to kill red wolves on their property.
A letter to the government Tuesday by the Southern Environmental Law Center says two killings of endangered wolves have been allowed since 2014 after only cursory non-lethal efforts.
The letter says the government has also failed to conduct a required review of the world's only wild population of the wolf in North Carolina. It threatens to sue.
In a news release and separate letter to a landowner, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the kills were authorized after trapping efforts failed to keep the animals off private land.
The federal government has been studying the feasibility of the effort to restore the red wolf to the wild.