Science & Technology



Reintroduced wolves kill 4 yearling cattle in latest of string of livestock attacks in Colorado

Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post on

Published in Science & Technology News

DENVER — Wolves killed several yearling cattle in north-central Colorado this week, bringing the total number of wolf kills of livestock this month to six.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife on Thursday confirmed that wolves killed three yearlings on a Grand County ranch between Monday night and Tuesday morning. The carcasses were discovered Wednesday, agency spokesman Travis Duncan said in an email.

On Thursday, wildlife officials investigated a fourth yearling killed on the same property and determined the animal was killed by a wolf.

The wolves in the area at the time of the attacks were among the 10 wolves released in the state in December as part of a voter-mandated reintroduction effort to restore the predator to the Colorado landscape, Duncan said.

One of the wolves released in December killed a calf April 2 in Grand County. A few days later, a wolf killed a calf in Jackson County, which borders Grand County to the north.


The risk of wolves preying on livestock fueled strong opposition by ranchers to the reintroduction measure, which found most of its support from urban voters. Owners of livestock killed by wolves are eligible for compensation from the state.

Wildlife officials track 12 known wolves in Colorado: the 10 introduced in December and two from a pack that established itself in Jackson County after migrating from Wyoming. The wolves released in December were set loose in Grand County and neighboring Summit County, but they have ranged widely since then.

All 12 wolves have GPS collars that record the animals’ location every four hours, though one collar stopped functioning last month.


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