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Historically, most Native American tribes revered the Gray Wolf’s cunning and hunting abilities. However, by the early 20th century, wolves were nearly extinct in the lower 48 states because settlers believed they caused widespread livestock losses. These animals were constantly persecuted and targeted by humans. By the time they were finally protected by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, Gray Wolves had been exterminated from the lower 48 states, except for a few hundred that inhabited the furthest northeastern reaches of Minnesota. Successful reintroduction and management programs have greatly helped the wolves’ recovery.