Wolf relocated from Canada to Isle Royale found dead

A wolf that was moved from Canada to Isle Royale National Park in Michigan was found dead, officials announced Wednesday.

According to the National Park Service, the black-coated male's body was found in a swampy area at the southwestern end of the Lake Superior wilderness island.

This winter, several wolves were brought from Minnesota to Isle Royale in an effort to restore predation to the island’s ecosystem. 

Wolves are not native to Isle Royale. Scientists believe ice bridges that formed on the lake in the winter helped the first wolves to find the island more than 75 years ago. The population peaked at around 50 wolves in 1980, but fell off in recent years until only two non-breeding wolves remained to hunt the island’s 1,400 moose. 

Officials said the wolf's tracking collar had been transmitting a mortality signal since late March, but personnel had to wait until the park opened for the season to investigate.

The wolf's body was too badly decomposed to determine a cause of death.

Isle Royale now has 14 wolves, including 12 relocated from Minnesota and Canada.