Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials confirmed the presence of wolves in the state after analyzing scat samples found in January at a moose carcass.
The samples were collected from an area called Irish Canyon in the northwestern corner of the state, near the Wyoming and Utah borders.
Park officials discovered the elk carcass on January 19 and observed several wolf-like tracks around it.
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Colorado officials confirmed that scat samples collected in January were from wolves, and claimed that the state had its first permanent wolf dwellers since the 1940s
During the investigation of the environment they heard howls and with the aid of binoculars they could spot a package of what they thought were six gray wolves.
The officers observed the wolves about 20 minutes before they lost the site again.
Laboratory analysis of four scat samples collected around the elk carcass after the location confirmed that the animals were indeed wolves, according to a report from Fox 31 in Denver.
“Although lone wolves have visited our state regularly, including last fall, this is most likely the first platoon to call our state house since the 1930s,” said Governor Colorado, Jared Policy, in January, after the first discovery.
Wolves were originally killed by hunters in Colorado in the 1940s, but small wolf populations still live in both Utah and Wyoming.
After discovering the elk carcass in January, park officers heard crying and they could see the wolf pack with binoculars. They maintained visual contact for about 20 minutes before losing sight of them
Although there are no indications that a wolf pile is permanently in the state, there have been many observations over the years.
In 2007, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife manager picked up a gray wolf in the mountains outside Walden in the northern part of the state.
In July 2019, another wolf was spotted in the wilderness west of Boulder.
In October 2019, a hunter made images of six wolves in the northwestern part of the state.
Wolf’s observations have occurred in Colorado over the years, also in 2019, when a state official observed what they believed as a lonely gray wolf
Previous observations were believed to have been wolves that lived in neighboring states, including Utah and Wyoming, and entered Colorado without staying
Many Colorado residents have welcomed the idea that wolves return to the state.
In November, residents of the state vote in a voting round to finance an eight-year program of $ 5.7 million to bring wolves back into the state.
A recent poll showed that 84 percent of Colorado residents support the initiative.
Local cattle farmers and hunters have formed a group called the Stop de Wolf coalition to fight the ballot and fear that a renewed wolf population would endanger state cattle.
The ballot initiative includes funding to pay for possible losses to livestock, but for some farmers it feels like it’s their way of life at stake, not just their money.
“I have been breeding in this herd for 60 years, so it’s more than the market value of that animal,” said Jay Fetcher, who breeds cattle near Steamboat Springs, NPR.
Polis has warned the local population not to take matters into their own hands when wolves eventually see their numbers continue to grow.
“It’s important for Colorado’s to understand that the gray wolf is under the protection of the Endangered Species Act,” he said.
“Although the animals naturally migrated to our state and their presence attracts public interest, it is important that people give them space.”
“Because of their protected status, there are severe federal penalties for anyone who deliberately harms or kills wolves in our state.”
The federal punishment for killing a wolf is a fine of $ 100,000 and up to a year in prison.
HOW ARE WOLVES AND DOGS RELATED?
A genetic analysis of the world’s oldest known dog remains showed that in some cases dogs were domesticated by people living in Eurasia about 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.
Dr. Krishna Veeramah, an assistant professor of evolution at Stony Brook University, told MailOnline: “The process of dog domestication would have been a very complex process, involving a number of generations in which characteristic dog characteristics gradually evolved.
“The current hypothesis is that the domestication of dogs probably originated passively, with a population of wolves somewhere in the world living on the edge of hunter-gatherer camps feeding waste created by humans.
“Those wolves that were tamer and less aggressive would have been more successful in this, and although people initially did not benefit from this process, they would have developed some sort of symbiotic over time [mutually beneficial] relationship with these animals, eventually evolving towards the dogs we see today. “