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Authorities: 2 men confess in separate illegal wolf killings

FILE - In this July 16, 2004, file photo, a gray wolf is seen at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, Minn. The Republican-controlled House has passed a bill to drop legal protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states, reopening a lengthy battle over the predator species. (AP Photo/Dawn Villella, File)

GREENLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say two men confessed to illegally killing wolves in separate poaching incidents in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Department of Natural Resources announced Friday that prosecutors are reviewing the cases for possible charges against the 58- and 67-year-olds. Gray wolves are a protected species under the Endangered Species Act and can only legally be killed in defense of human safety.

A collar on a wolf in Ontonagon County's Greenland Township indicated Monday that the wolf had died. The DNR determined it was shot by the 58-year-old.

During last year's firearm deer hunting season, a collar signal from Menominee County's Lake Township indicated that a wolf died Nov. 19. The collar was found covered in blood, but it wasn't attached to the wolf. The DNR says the 67-year-old confessed this week.

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