Efforts to restore the wolf population at Isle Royale National Park have suffered another blow. The lone male wolf relocated from Minnesota died of unknown causes. The 5-year-old male was among the first two wolves released at the park September 26. This is the second fatality. A female wolf died while in a holding facility in September. The park service is trying to supplement the wolf population there to create a better predator balance against its increasing moose population.

The male wolf's radio tracking collar had issues from the beginning. The collars are used to track movement and location. In late October, Park Service officials traced the animal and found its carcass, which bore no bite marks or other obvious signs that it had been killed by another wolf. It was taken to a federal wildlife health lab in Madison, Wisconsin, for a necropsy. Results are expected sometime in December.

The female wolf, also released on September 26, is doing well as are the two that arrived in October. The Isle Royale wolf population stands at five with the surviving new arrivals and the aging pair native to the area.

The newcomers were trapped on the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation in Minnesota. More are expected to arrive in January from the Canadian province of Ontario. The plan also calls for relocating additional wolves from Michigan's Upper Peninsula at a later date with a goal of up 30 wolves in total being relocated in the next 2-3 years.