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Northwest Illinois Men Charged With Shooting Gray Wolves

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Two young wolves hide behind a tree on April 26, 2011 at the Wolfcenter wulf park Doerverden, central Germany. Two gray wolf packs and a pack of Czech wolfhounds live at the park. (Credit: INGO WAGNER/AFP/Getty Images)

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FREEPORT, Ill. (CBS) — Two men from northwestern Illinois are charged with misdemeanors, after shooting threatened gray wolves.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Hultman reports, the Freeport Journal-Standard says Jason Bourette and James Collachia each shot gray wolves last year. Gray wolves are a threatened species under Illinois law.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Hultman reports

Bourette, of Hanover, Ill., allegedly shot a wolf on Feb. 23 of last year, and was charged in December. Collachia, of Fulton, Ill., allegedly shot a wolf on Nov. 19 of last year, and was charged in January, the Journal-Standard reported.

Jo Daviess County State’s Attorney Terry Kurt says the men each charged with unlawful taking of an Illinois threatened species, the newspaper reported.

The Class A misdemeanor includes a maximum punishment of 364 days in jail and a $2,500 dollar fine.

There are certain exceptions to the law against shooting gray wolves, such as cases in which someone is using “reasonable force” to defend his or her property, but that exception did not apply in these two cases, Kurt told the Journal-Register.

There is comment as yet from the men who are charged.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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