MANTEO, N.C. -

Federal wildlife officials say a seventh protected red wolf has been shot to death since North Carolina adopted a rule allowing coyotes to be hunted at night with spotlights.
    
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday a slain red wolf was found last week south of Columbia, in Tyrrell County. All seven were shot since the state Wildlife Resources Commission allowed overnight coyote hunting in August.
    
The latest dead red wolf was found days after wildlife and environmental groups won a court order suspending the nighttime hunt in the five counties in northeast North Carolina where about 100 wolves live wild.
    
Red wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act and their appearance is so close to coyotes the two species are hard to distinguish even during the day.

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