JACKSON COUNTY, Colorado — A domestic calf on a ranch in Jackson County was killed by wolves last week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said.
The Colorado Cattlemen's Association said this is the first confirmed instance of livestock being killed by wolves in Colorado in more than 70 years. They said the calf was a purebred replacement heifer that weighed about 500 pounds.
CPW said they were notified of the calf carcass on a ranch near North Park just after 9 a.m. Sunday. A district wildlife manager conducted a field investigation and necropsy on the carcass to look for evidence of pre-mortem wounds.
“The results of this investigation indicated wolf tracks in the immediate vicinity of the carcass and wounds on the calf consistent with wolf depredation,” CPW Area Wildlife Manager Kris Middledorf said in a release.
CPW said they will reimburse the calf's owner using the same process they currently use if livestock is killed by a mountain lion or bear. They are working to formalize an official process for damage by wolves.
Colorado voters in 2020 narrowly passed Proposition 114, which directs CPW to create a statewide wolf restoration and management program by the end of 2023. The compensation plan will be created as part of that planning process, CPW said.
CPW said in July, they had spotted a litter of gray wolf pups in the state for the first time since the 1940s.
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