An intrinsic defect (ID) has been identified in as-grown 4H-SiC by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). The EPR parameters of an ID measured in our nominally semi-insulating material are similar to the literature data of the EI5 defect produced in p-type 4H and 6H-SiC by 2.5 MeV electrons and assigned to the carbon vacancy (N.T. Son, P.N. Hai, E. Jansen, Phys. Rev. B 63 (2000) 201201). However, comparison of the ID and EI5 centers reveals that the as-grown and radiation-induced centers exhibit different annealing behavior. Photo-induced EPR locates the ID level 0.9 eV above the valence band edge. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.