Wolf population at risk

Associated Press
FILE - In this July 1, 2010 photo, one of five eight-week-old Mexican Gray wolf pups gets a quick check-up at the Endangered Wolf Center  in Eureka, Mo.  The effort to return the wolves to the wild in New Mexico and Arizona has been hampered by illegal shootings, court battles, complaints from ranchers who have lost livestock and pets to the wolves, and concerns by environmentalists over the way the reintroduction program has been managed.   In 2010, there were six wolf deaths. All but one involved suspicious circumstances. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

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Wolf hunting and trapping that have killed more than 500 of the predators across the Northern Rockies. Hundreds of the animals have been killed -- mostly through hunting -- less than a year after being removed from the U.S. endangered species list. Restrictions on gray wolf harvests around Yellowstone are under consideration as the state prepares to kick off its inaugural wolf trapping season on Dec. 15, 2012. Conservation groups want limits on trapping after several wolves collared by park scientists for research were shot by Montana hunters in recent weeks.

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