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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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Congress last year lifted federal protections from wolves in Idaho and Montana, which have since sought to cut the number of wolves - mostly through hunting and trapping - to as few as 300 from an estimated 1,500.

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Wolves in Wyoming were delisted on Oct. 1, the first day of Wyoming's regulated hunting season. There are an estimated 350 wolves in the state.

Under a plan approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceWyoming permits restricted hunting in certain areas but classifies wolves in most of the state as predatory animals subject to unlicensed shooting and trapping.

The Center for Biological Diversity and other groups last month notified the Fish and Wildlife Service they intended to sue the agency over its approval of Wyoming's wolf-management plan.

All three states must maintain at least 150 wolves, including 15 breeding pairs, to prevent relisting.

Additional reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Editing by James B. Kelleher and Peter Cooney

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