The recent winter has formed an ice bridge over Lake Superior between the mainland and Isle Royale for the first time in many years. Researchers had hoped that this might revitalize the struggling wolf population on the island, which has been shrinking in recent years (down to only eight individuals) and is becoming extremely inbred. Unfortunately, not all attempts at dispersal end well — a wolf has been found dead on the mainland in Grand Portage Indian Reservation, having traveled from Isle Royale.
The five-year-old female wolf was identified via her radio collar as “Isabelle”. She had shown evidence of being harassed by other wolves last year, which may be why she attempted to leave the island. She did not appear to have been shot. An autopsy is pending.
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