A rare grey wolf, named "Echo," became the likely victim of mistaken identity after a hunter shot and killed the creature that is believed to be the first of its kind seen at the Grand Canyon in more than 70 years.
The Independent reports that the endangered animal killed near Arizona was wearing a radio collar when the unnamed hunter mistook her for a coyote.
What is known about the hunter is that he was from Utah, and he now holds a firm place near the top of the Internet's unofficial list of most hated people.
Since the Inquisitr first reported on this story New Year's Eve, the outrage has hit a fever pitch. Commenters at the Independent, many of them from the U.K., wouldn't have minded seeing the roles reversed.
"Apparently BINOCULARS are a novel concept to this moron waste-of-life who shot this beautiful animal."Information gleaned from the radio collar for what is believed to be the grey wolf Echo shows she was a three-year-old female that was captured and collared in January in northwest Wyoming, according to Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman Mark Martinez.
"Another mindless hunter blowing away anything that moves. I have nothing against people who hunt the occasional deer for food but morons like this hunter will shoot even animals that are not generally eaten. Coyotes can be pests when you have a farm, but there are no farms near the Grand Canyon, especially in southern Utah. What would be the reason to kill a poor Coyote that is just trying to live out it's life in the wilderness. The answer is just killing for the sake of killing. This man is a perfect example of the pitiful creatures many men have become, they have no purpose in life so they must vandalize either man made objects (graffiti) or they must vandalize nature through (killing for the sake of killing)."
"Why don't you stick your gun where the sun don't shine. Cretin."
Further analysis showed that the wolf killed had "roamed hundreds of miles... south from the Northern Rockies," which would have fit with Echo's pattern.The hunter will not face punishment as he contacted the proper authorities after confirming the kill. Wildlife advocates called the death "shameful," though authorities have taken the "it happens" approach.
But what do you think, readers? Should the hunter who killed Echo the grey wolf face any kind of charges or punishment? Sound off in the comments section.