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MANTEO, N.C. (AP) -- Federal wildlife officials say a fourth protected red wolf has been shot to death since North Carolina adopted a new rule allowing coyotes to be hunted at night with spotlights.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday a red wolf with a radio collar was found Thursday with a suspected gunshot wound north of Fairfield in Hyde County. It's the fourth death of a radio-collared red wolf since September.

The state Wildlife Resources Commission allowed overnight coyote hunting in August.

Wildlife and environmental groups oppose the rule because red wolves resemble coyotes and are hard to tell apart even during the day.

About 100 red wolves live wild in a five-county region in northeast North Carolina. Red wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act.
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