LEWISTON, Idaho -- Federal wildlife agents shot and killed 14 wolves from helicopters in northern Idaho as part of an effort to help increase the elk population in the Lolo zone.
The three-day operation earlier this month cost $22,500 and was carried out by USDA Wildlife Services and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Through Wednesday, hunters and trappers had taken 22 wolves from the Lolo zone, while another six were shot from helicopters last spring, bringing the total known wolf kills to 42.
In recent years, wolves have been identified as the primary cause of death in female elk and calves over six months old.
Before the start of the hunting season, the Lolo zone wolf population was estimated at 75 to 100, with additional animals crossing back and forth between Idaho and Montana.