ARVADA, Colo. — Officials say they have confirmed the first wolf kill of livestock in Colorado in more than 70 years, the Colorado Cattlemen's Association announced Monday.
The kill happened near Walden, which is home to one of Colorado's wolf packs.
CCA officials say a 500 pound purebred replacement heifer was attacked and eaten by the pack.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed the existence of the pack in northern central Colorado earlier this year. The CCA says individual wolves were sited in the area prior to confirmation.
Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife are working with the livestock producer to learn more about the attack, according to the CCA.
“On behalf of the livestock producer, who is a member of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), as well as Colorado Parks and Wildlife, we ask that the public refrain from disturbing the area and individuals associated with this wolf attack,” said Steve Wooten, CCA President.
A spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife said staff were investigating the claim and would hopefully have more information. On Tuesday, CPW confirmed the incident after its initial investigation.
"If it is determined to be depredation by the wolves in the area that have naturally migrated into the state, we will compensate the landowner through our current game damage program," said CPW Branding and Communications Section Manager Rebecca Ferrell.
CPW said Tuesday it will handle reimbursement of the incident under its current game damage process as if the depredation occurred by mountain lions or bears as it is still in the process of formalizing an official process for damage by wolves.
Gray wolves remain a state endangered species, and CPW reminds Coloradans that wolves may not be taken for any reason other than self-defense. Penalties for an illegal take of a wolf can include fines of up to $100,000, a year of jail and a lifetime loss of hunting license privileges.