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First Colorado wolf kill in over 70 years confirmed

 Female wolf F1084.
Posted at 4:06 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 19:39:53-05

WALDEN — On Tuesday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) confirmed that a pack of wolves killed a female cow near Walden, Colo., which is near the Wyoming border.

In a press release from the Colorado Cattlemen's Associations, they say that this is the first confirmed wolf kill of livestock in Colorado in over 70 years.

In early 2021, Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed the existence of this pack in north-central Colorado. In 2020, voters approved a measure to re-introduce wolves into Colorado, but wolves have not been officially re-introduced in the state yet.

“On behalf of the livestock producer, who is a member of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), as well as Colorado Parks and Wildlife, we ask that the public refrain from disturbing the area and individuals associated with this wolf attack,” said Steve Wooten, CCA President.

The Cattlemen's Association went on to say that this incident brings up concerns they have with the wolf reintroduction program that is currently underway.

In the press release, they list three specific concerns which include:

  • Lethal and non-lethal methods, including hazing, of wolves for conflict minimization.
  • A guaranteed funding source that allows Colorado Parks and Wildlife to fairly provide the needed tools for prevention and compensation from wolf impacts.
  • Impacts from wolves go beyond livestock death and injury, to include more far-reaching impacts on livestock performance, such as loss of pregnancy, weight loss, imbalanced range usage, etc. 

CPW says they will reimburse the owners of the cow for the damage the wolves have caused.

Gray Wolves remain a state endangered species, and wolves may not be taken for any reason other than self-defense. Illegal take of a wolf may result in a combination of penalties, including fines of up to $100,000, a year of jail time, and a lifetime loss of hunting license privileges.

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