Colorado Wolves Suspected of Killing 22 Calves, Injuring More

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by: Sergio Pitamitz / VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife suspects that local wolf populations near Meeker, CO are responsible for the deaths of 22 600-pound calves. They’ve also reportedly been charged with injuring many more. What follows is the agency’s full findings so far.

According to the Coloradoan, the wildlife agency believed the nearly two dozen calf deaths occurred over a two-week period. The kill zones are located on public grazing land spanning several miles south of Meeker in the White River National Forest. Reports of the attack came earlier this month.

As of now, the wildlife agency has not confirmed that all 22 deaths were the result of multiple wolf attacks. Per the outlet, necropsies conducted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife showed that some of the deceased calves had injuries typical of wolf predation while others did not. That said, agency experts have investigated every animal attacked so far.

Another reason the agency is not attributing all 22 deaths to local wolves is that there haven’t actually been any confirmed sightings in the areas where these attacks took place. At the moment, all authorities have to go on are several unconfirmed wolf sightings from a year ago that took place in the general area where the more recent killings occurred.

Nevertheless, experts have not identified other predators potentially responsible for killing the 22 calves. So, for now, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is keeping its focus on wolves. Some of the calves did show signs that they had in fact been eaten.

Authorities Launch Investigation After Multiple Wolves Die From Ingesting Poison

As authorities in Colorado continue their investigation into the mass calve killings near Meeker, officials in Washington state have launched an intense investigation after several endangered gray wolves died after ingesting poison. The original report emerged on October 10th.

Altogether, the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently investigating the unnecessary deaths of six endangered gray wolves. All six were from the Wedge Pack in Stevens County.

Authorities state four of the six wolf deaths took place in February, with two more located after extensive searches. In a statement, the Department of Fish and Wildlife said, “Toxicology results revealed all six wolves died from ingesting poison.”

Zoe Hanley, a wolf biologist with the Defenders of Wildlife, more passionately spoke out about the wolves’ deaths.

“This is a tragic, unnecessary loss to our state’s endangered wolf population,” Hanley said. “This cowardly act flies in the face of committed efforts from biologists, policymakers, and ranchers working to recover and coexist with wolves in Washington.”

While gray wolves face endangerment in multiple states across the U.S., Washington’s population has been endangered since 1980.

Multiple wildlife agencies have come together to offer a reward to anyone that has any information about the deaths that could help lead to a conviction. As it stands, the reward currently amounts to $51,400, with $2,500 from Defenders of Wildlife.