Wildlife officials confirm a second Colorado livestock wolf kill, this time in Jackson County

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A wolf killed a calf over the weekend in Jackson County, the second time in less than a week that the death of livestock in Colorado has been attributed to a wolf, wildlife officials confirmed.

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials on morning of April 7 responded to a report of possible depredation of a calf after the animal was found dead with a partially consumed hindquarter. In a news release, CPW said that type of injury is consistent with wolf depredation and partial wolf tracks were found in the area.

The agency said it knows of four wolves in the area where the calf was found, including a wolf or wolves with known territory in North Park as well as gray wolves that were released into the wild in December in accordance with the 2020 ballot measure approved by Colorado voters to reintroduce the predators to the state.

CPW declined to identify the exact location in Jackson County of the weekend wolf kill. Wildlife officials believe there are 12 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.

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The wolf kill in Jackson County follows one in Grand County last week, when a rancher discovered the carcass of a calf on April 2. CPW officials confirmed that calf was killed by one of the wolves released in Colorado late last year, making it the first verified livestock killing by one of the introduced wolves. Officials haven’t said yet if the kill in Jackson County was done by one of the recently released animals.

CPW and the Colorado Department of Agriculture are making plans to deploy range riders in the coming weeks to anticipate and prepare for predator livestock incidents and help ranchers use nonlethal methods of deterrence to protect their animals.

The calf’s owner is eligible for the fair market value of the livestock if a claim is submitted. CPW provides reimbursement for damages caused by gray wolves to livestock.

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This article by John Aguilar, The Denver Post was first published by Phys.org on 9 April 2024. Lead Image: Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

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