March 17, 2023 |
Photo – Collared Wolf – Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife
The wolf pack over the state line in North Park, Colorado, has returned to its predatory ways. Two wolves, from the pack that were recently captured and re-collared, killed a working cattle dog and fatally injured a pet dog. The dogs belonged to two separate ranches near Walden early this week.
The ranches are four miles apart in southwestern Jackson County. Colorado wildlife officials say the dogs are the first domestic wolf kills by the splintered pack since November.
A working livestock dog was killed by wolves Monday morning. A family pet was euthanized after being injured by wolves early Tuesday.
Wildlife officers found wolf tracks in the vicinity and GPS collar data for both incidents indicated wolves were in the area during the time the dogs were attacked.
Greg Sykes is a foreman on a ranch in Jackson County. Sykes told Steamboat Radio that his dog Cisco was a registered border collie that he’d had for seven years as his working livestock dog.
Sykes said the attack on Cisco happened around 4 a.m. Monday morning, March 13th, when he let the dogs out. Cisco did not return but his Livestock Guardian Dogs did.
Cisco was found 30 yards from the house. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials confirmed it was wolf kill. GPS data indicated that two of the recently collared wolves were in the area.
The next day, Roy Gollobith had his pet dog, Blaze, attacked by the wolves shortly after 6:00 a.m.
He said he found a blood trail and wolf tracks about 10 feet from his house. The ranching family took Blaze to a vet in Laramie where he had to be euthanized because of the extensive injuries.
The two dogs are the first confirmed wolf kills in the area in four months. The first eight confirmed North Park wolfpack kills were located in the northeastern part of Jackson County.
The last four confirmed wolf kills, including the recent dogs, have all taken place in the southwest part of the county. Until Monday’s incidents, the last confirmed wolf depredation was Nov. 18th, on the Park Range Ranch, just north of where this week’s kills took place.
Five cows, four dogs and three calves have been confirmed killed by the North Park pack since the breeding male and female naturally migrated to the state from Wyoming and gave birth to six pups in spring 2022. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has paid $12,929.75 for eight confirmed depredations with other cases pending, according to the state wildlife agency. Other claims have been denied.
Colorado Wildlife officials said both dog owners will be compensated for their losses.
North Park ranchers believe the lull in depredations on cattle over the winter is largely due to the pack losing four of its members, making the killing of livestock more difficult for the survivors.