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Wolf Kills Cow In Colorado For First Time in 70 Years

JACKSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) -- Wildlife experts in Colorado say they're confident a cow in North Park was killed by a wolf. It's the first incident of wolf depredation in the state in decades.

gray wolves wolf
FILE PHOTO (credit: CBS)

The calf carcass was found on a ranch in Jackson County on Sunday morning. Officials conducted a field investigation and necropsy on the carcass.

"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 Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager Kris Middledorf.

"This is the first confirmed wolf kill of livestock in Colorado in over 70 years," officials with the Colorado Cattlemen's Association stated.

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 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."

Gray wolves are considered an endangered species in Colorado, and wolves may not be killed 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," CPW stated.

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