A wild reindeer from the mainland US has been extinguished during the winter, according to a report in the Washington Post.
The Post reports that the last known wild reindeer herd, also known as caribou, had only one female this winter before wildlife managers in British Columbia, Canada, captured it for survival.
Ray Entz, director of wildlife and land resources for the Kalispel tribe in Washington, told the Post that the last caribou probably would not have survived had he not been captured.
"It was the right choice," said Entz.
A 2019 animal census revealed only three remaining caribou from the Selkirk herd, a subpopulation of wild caribou.
In 2009, there were nearly 50 caribou.
La Poste has indicated that the overall caribou population is likely to decrease as human development and expansion take over their natural habitat.
Caribou that once inhabited northern New England and the Upper Midwest, such as Minnesota, have been slowly pushed further north in recent decades.
The last captured Selkirk caribou wore a radio collar for better tracking and was transported to a pen in British Columbia.
Canadian wildlife managers are planning to release Selkirk's caribou and three other inmates from the pen in a habitat populated by a nearby herd.