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Rare gray wolf Iowa: Hunter mistakes gray wolf for coyote, kills it

A rare gray wolf was found in Iowa after the species hadn't been seen in over eight decades. According to Mail Online, the hunter spotted the wolf near Fairbank in northwest Buchanan County. Thinking it was a coyote, the hunter shot the female wolf, but once he was able to get closer to it, he realized that it was likely a wolf -- and it's illegal to hunt wolves because they are endangered.

Despite the DNR Conservation office's confirmation of the wolf species, the hunter was not fined. It is believed that he made a genuine mistake. DNA proved that the animal was in fact a gray wolf which hasn't been seen in the state of Iowa since 1925.

The rare gray wolf in Iowa weighed between 65 and 70 pounds. She was double the size of an average coyote but seeing an animal from 100 yards away can be confusing. Some say that a skilled hunter should have known better and shouldn't have shot the animal but others feel that this was truly an honest mistake -- unfortunate but honest.

Hunters in the area have been reminded to be more cautious about the animals they are shooting. "They are protected animals. We know they are here. Make sure of your target. If in doubt, don't shoot," said DNR Conservation Officer Scott Kinseth.

Check out the video above for more.