March 22, 2022 |
“Sharks on land:” That’s how one rancher in North Park, Colorado describes the wolf pack that has struck again just over state line.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed another cow depredation in Jackson County north of Walden. It’s fourth cow taken by wolves in the area since December. The latest happened March 15th.
Photographs show the pack mauled the cow, tearing off its hind legs and leaving it to die on winter ground. Adam Van Valkenberg, president of the North Park Stockgrowers Association, told Steamboat Radio the attack occurred on a ranch seven miles north of where the December previous incidents occurred.
Pictured above: A photo of 2202, the first gray wolf born and collared in Colorado. The female pup was fitted with a GPS collar in North Park on Feb. 9. Image courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Eric Odell.
A necropsy revealed that the cow’s injuries were consistent with a wolf attack. Travis Duncan with Colorado Wildlife and Parks confirmed tracks found in the area were identified as wolf prints.
Van Valkenberg said the unidentified rancher had to euthanize the mauled animal and deal with the traumatized herd. The cow involved in the incident had been bred and was due to calve this spring.
Until the first incident was reported near Walden just before Christmas, such wolf attacks had been unheard of in Colorado since the 1950s. The first wolf pups born in Colorado in 80 years were discovered north of Walden last spring. Steamboat Radio reported on Friday that Colorado wildlife officials are blaming Wyoming wolves that migrated to North Park for the attacks on livestock rather than any wolves that are part of the wolf reintroduction project in the state.
On Dec. 19, 2021, Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed that a calf carcass found on a ranch north of Walden in Jackson County was the result of a wolf kill. The incident occurred near where the pack of wolves were denned.
On Jan. 9, a rancher near where the calf was killed reports wolves killed his working cattle dog and injured another. Wildlife officials confirmed the kill.
On Jan. 18-19, two pregnant heifer cows are confirmed killed by wolves (one was euthanized due to its injuries) on the same ranch that earlier lost a calf.
Six elk killed in Jackson County recently are also believed to be victims of the wolf pack, although that has not been confirmed.
Bigfoot 99 called Mr. Duncan with the Colorado Wildlife Department to find out more about why they believe Wyoming wolves are involved. He asked that we email our questions to him. He has not yet replied.
Ranchers around Walden are stepping up various hazing methods to scare off the wolves, including increased human presence.
In January, a rancher in the Platte Valley killed a lone wolf on his land near the state line. On February 1, Wyoming Game and Fish reported that CPW tracked, captured, collared and released a gray in the Platte Valley near the Colorado border. Wyoming game officials did not participate in the operation. Nor is Wyoming working with Colorado on its wolf reintroduction program.