While I was away on vacation for a week, the Albuquerque Journal first reported, and the Associated Press confirmed, that a federal Wildlife Services employee is under investigation for the killing last January of what may have been a Mexican wolf.
The killing occurred in January in Southwestern New Mexico, where rancher resistance to the release of the endangered Mexican gray wolves has been fiercest. The Wildlife Services official was investigating the possible killing of livestock by a wolf at the time the shooting occurred.
AP reported -- but the Journal didn't -- that federal officials are awaiting lab reports to determine if the animal was indeed a Mexican wolf.
Environmentalists at the Center for Biological Diversity, who tipped the Journal about the killing, said this incident shows the lack of transparency on the part of federal officials -- who have said little about this incident to date.
"Wildlife Services is cooperating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the ongoing investigation," Wildlife Services spokeswoman Carol Bannerman said in a statement reported by the AP. "Given the ongoing investigation, no additional details are available at this time."