Yellowstone euthanizes one of its 3 rare white wolves

Personnel at Yellowstone National Park are investigating the recent loss of one of its three known white wolves.

On Wednesday, hikers came upon the severely injured animal near Gardiner, Montana.

According to P.J. White, Chief of the Wildlife and Aquatic Resources Branch, "Staff on scene agreed the animal could not be saved due to the severity of its injuries. The decision was made to kill the animal and investigate the cause of the initial trauma."

A press release issued by the National Park Service notes that "an investigation into the cause of the injuries has begun which will include a necropsy."

While wolves in the park generally live an average of 6 years, this particular one had reached the age of 12, notes Fox News.

Her longevity and unique coloring made her among the most recognized animals on park grounds.