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BILLINGS, Mont. - Record numbers of endangered gray wolves were shot this year by government wildlife agents and ranchers in the Northern Rockies, as the predator's attacks on livestock met with an increasingly aggressive response.
In a case that underscores the brutal efficiency of those government wolf control efforts, wildlife agents recently killed all 27 members of a wolf pack near Kalispell, Mont. Their removal followed repeated attacks on livestock within the pack's territory.
The Bush administration is poised to remove the region's estimated 1,500 wolves from the endangered species list as soon as this week. Environmentalists - who successfully fought to reverse a prior removal of endangered protections - are gearing up to again challenge the government in federal court.