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A look at some of the big takeaways from the release of the redacted Mueller report. Also, on our Friday rundown: Iowa recovers from devastating floods and prepares for more. And, scallopers urged to minimize the threat to seagrass.

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One Mexican Wolf Killed; Two Pairs to be Released into the Wild

PHOTO: Mexican Gray Wolf, Canis lupus baileyi, USFWS
PHOTO: Mexican Gray Wolf, Canis lupus baileyi, USFWS
May 3, 2013

PHOENIX – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to release a pair of Mexican wolves in both Arizona and New Mexico as part of its Mexican Wolf Recovery Program.

And in a separate incident, the service has announced that one of its agents shot and killed a wolf.

The shooting happened back in January, but wasn't made public at the time.

Michael Robinson, conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, says while he is pleased about the announcement of the release of two pairs of Mexican wolves, he has reservations about how the program is being run.

"We believe there are real questions as to whether Fish and Wildlife Service was attempting to engage in a cover-up,” he says. “And it raises a real question as to whether the USDA Wildlife Services agency should be part of this program to recover the Mexican wolf."

Robinson says releases such as those currently scheduled for Arizona and New Mexico are necessary, but not nearly sufficient to protect the genetic integrity of the wolf population. Only a single wolf has been released from the captive breeding pool since 2008.

Robinson says the original U.S. wildlife management agency began trapping and killing wolves in 1915. There were no laws protecting them until the 1960s.

Concerning the shooting, Robinson says, "We believe that it is appropriate to prosecute the killer for this crime. He should not be still on the field team."

In an undated news release, the Fish and Wildlife Service says it did not mention the shooting in its monthly report because the female wolf was unmarked and was not immediately confirmed as a Mexican wolf.

The service says it has submitted the case to the U.S. Attorney's office for review.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ