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Traverse City – Officials have relocated two gray wolves from the mainland to Isle Royale National Park, kicking off a multiyear effort to restore the predator species on the Lake Superior island chain.

The National Park Service says a 4-year-old female and a 5-year-old male were flown to the park Wednesday from the Grand Portage Indian Reservation in Minnesota.

They were released separately in locations away from the territory of the other two wolves already there.

The park service says the female quickly left her crate and began exploring her new home. The male did likewise after dark.

Plans call for moving four additional wolves to the park this fall, building to 20 to 30 over the next few years.

Managers hope the rejuvenated population will prey on Isle Royale’s abundant moose herd.

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