Wolves are indeed back in Colorado. This week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) confirmed the sighting of six wolves two miles from an animal carcass discovered in Moffat County on Jan. 19. Officers heard howls in the area surrounding the animal carcass and used binoculars to observe the wolves, according to a CPW press release.
“This is a historic sighting. While lone wolves have visited our state periodically including last fall, this is very likely the first pack to call our state home since the 1930s. I am honored to welcome our canine friends back to Colorado after their long absence,” said Governor Jared Polis. “It’s important that Coloradans understand that the gray wolf is under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. While the animals have naturally migrated to our state and their presence draws public interest, it’s important that people give them space. Due to their Protected status, there are severe federal penalties for anyone that intentionally harms or kills wolves in our state.”
“Right after our two officers heard the howls from the wolves, they used binoculars to observe approximately six wolves about two miles from the location of the carcass,” said JT Romatzke, Northwest Region Manager for CPW. “After watching them for about 20 minutes, the officers rode in to get a closer look. The wolves were gone but they found plenty of large tracks in the area.”
goHUNT reported earlier this month that wolves were believed to be in the area. This observation by CPW officers confirms that wolves have returned to the Centennial State. According to CPW, the tracks measured 4.5” to 5.5” and “appear to have been made by at least six animals.”
“As we have made clear, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will not take direct action in these cases,” said Dan Prenzlow, Director of CPW. “We have the leading experts on wildlife management and species recovery working for our agency, but while wolves remain federally protected, they are under the jurisdiction of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We will continue to work with our federal partners and monitor the situation.”
It is a federal offense to kill a wolf in Colorado. Should you see or hear any signs of wolves, CPW urges you to fill out the Wolf Sighting Form immediately.