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5 wolves killed in first days of Wisconsin wolf hunt

On Monday and Tuesday five wolves were killed in Wisconsin, at the start of the state's first wolf harvest. Despite protests by animal rights groups, Wisconsin hunters will be allowed to kill 201 wolves this winter.

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In Minnesota, where the wolf-hunting season begins on Nov. 3, the state's Court of Appeals earlier this month refused to block the season.

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About 4,000 wolves in the northern Great Lakes region - primarily in WisconsinMichigan and Minnesota - lost their federal status as endangered or threatened last January.

In the Northern Rockies, conservationists have warred with ranchers and sportsmen over wolves since they were reintroduced to the region by the federal government in the mid-1990s.

Conservationists welcomed the restoration of an animal that had been shot, trapped and poisoned to near extinction in IdahoMontana and Wyoming. But ranchers and outfitters contended wolves would prey on livestock and big-game animals targeted by hunters.

Moves by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in recent years to strip wolves in the region of federal protections were blocked by lawsuits by conservationists.

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