Colorado Rancher Finds His Dog Dead After Wolves Appeared at His Ranch

by Michael Freeman
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Ranchers always have to be on the lookout for wildlife intruding and causing trouble. However, an unfortunate Colorado rancher saw his dog becoming a victim after wolves appeared there and killed it.

Carlos Atencio stated he woke up around 5 a.m. on January 9 after he heard something on his porch. As it turns out, wolves invaded his Jackson County, Colorado ranch the night before. He immediately knew something had happened because one of his dogs, Izzy, was sitting near the door. Noting this was “pretty rare,” he soon spotted his other dog, Buster, nearby. Tragically, Buster had been killed, with Atencio stating it was “pretty obvious” wolves caused his untimely demise, Newsweek reports.

The wolves attacked Izzy too, with her receiving several injuries. “They tore open her belly a little bit. They bit her pretty good on her hamstring. She has quite a bit of bite marks on top of her,” Atencio stated. Continuing, he vented his frustration about the wolves intruding. “They’ve literally got hundreds of thousands of acres that they can roam around here. They’ve been in our backyard. They’re not coexisting with us at all.”

It appears a pack of wolves that migrated from Wyoming has been causing trouble for the past two weeks in the area. Authorities state they killed several cows in Jackson County, raising concern among local ranchers. Things may get even worse for them though, as the state plans to introduce more gray wolves into the state in the coming years. Officials believe doing so will benefit the local ecosystem, but hunters and ranchers are concerned.

Nevertheless, ranchers may have to take additional precautions to protect their livelihood and their pets.

Colorado Rancher Receives Help from Neighbors and Wildlife Officials to Fence His Ranch and Protect Cattle from Wolves

As stated, Colorado seems to have a growing wolf problem and it may only get worse. Another recent incident saw a Colorado rancher enlisting aid from neighbors and wildlife officials. The parties helped him fence his ranch to protect cattle from wolf attacks.

Yahoo! News reports the wolf attacks are so frightening in some Colorado areas some people, like rancher Don Gittleson, now check their property at midnight, as opposed to early mornings. Luckily for him, his neighbors and U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife officials recognized how prevalent the problem and they helped fence his property. The group trudged through deep snow and put up a whopping three miles of fladry along the pasture near his house.

The wolves previously killed a pregnant heifer, injured another enough to the point it was euthanized and killed a calf, all within five weeks. Though fladry is effective in deterring wolves, officials compare it to putting a bandage on a serious wound. Gittleson notes it’s a short-term solution and hopes they can “find some things that are more than temporary.”

As of now, ranchers in the area still haven’t decided how to manage the increasing wolf threat.

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