Colorado wildlife officials say a gray wolf (Canis lupus) pack may be residing in the state for the first time in about 70 years. The conclusion follows the recent discovery of a scavenged elk (Cervus canadensis) carcass in the northwest corner of a state — the same area where six large canids were seen traveling last October. The evidence “strongly suggests a pack of gray wolves may now be residing in Colorado,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced.
Individual wolves have been spotted in Colorado in recent years, but officials say this is the first time multiple wolves have been reported to be traveling together. Wildlife managers say they observed tracks near the elk carcass consistent with wolf predation.
“It is inevitable, based on known wolf behavior, that they would travel here from states where their populations are well-established,” said CPW Northwest Regional Manager JT Romatzke. “We have no doubt that they are here, and the most recent sighting of what appears to be wolves traveling together in what can be best described as a pack is further evidence of the presence of wolves in Colorado.”
The discovery comes as Colorado residents consider a ballot issue that would require the state to develop a restoration plan and reintroduce wolves to the state.
Read more from CPW here.