Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirms wolf attack on calf in North Park

State

WALDEN, Colo. — After an initial investigation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers have concluded a wolf attack occurred on a domestic calf in North Park.

Just after 9 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 19, a CPW District Wildlife Manager (DWM) received a report of a calf carcass on a ranch in Jackson County.

The DWM responded and conducted a field investigation and necropsy on the carcass of the calf 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,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Kris Middledorf.

CPW will handle reimbursement of the incident under its current game damage process as if the depredation occurred by mountain lions or bears.

CPW is in the process of formalizing an official process for damage by wolves.

“CPW is working on draft regulations for the Commission’s consideration on hazing for these naturally migrating wolves in the state,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow. “Our goal is to provide producers with resources to minimize the likelihood of conflict or depredation as we work to create a statewide wolf restoration and management program as directed under Proposition 114.”

Depredation compensation is required by statute, and the final Colorado compensation plan will be part of the overall Gray Wolf planning process. Recent Stakeholder Advisory Group and Technical Working Group meetings have focused on the topic of depredation compensation; meeting summaries are available at https://www.wolfengagementco.org/advisory-groups.

Gray Wolves remain a state endangered species, and wolves may not be taken for any reason other than self-defense. Illegal take of a wolf may result in a combination of penalties, including fines of up to $100,000, a year of jail time, and a lifetime loss of hunting license privileges. 

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