And then there were 17: 4 wolves relocated to Isle Royale, although 1 dies

A wolf is released at Isle Royale National Park as National Park Service staffers look on. (Phyllis Green/National Park Service)

Officials say four gray wolves from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula were transported for resettlement in Isle Royale National Park to help restore the predator species on the Lake Superior island chain, though one of them died shortly after arriving.

The National Park Service said recently that Isle Royale’s wolf population is now 17. It had fallen to two before the project began in 2018.

Officials plan to relocate a total of 20 to 30 wolves from Canada, Michigan and Minnesota to the park over several years, including the animals that have already been taken there. Wolves prey on moose that can damage the island’s vegetation.

Superintendent Phyllis Green said obtaining animals from different places will prevent the inbreeding that nearly wiped out the population.

The newest wolves — two males and two females — were flown in Sept. 13.

One female died shortly afterward. A necropsy is planned, but Green said the relocation is stressful for wolves.

— Greenwire

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