DNA testing confirms first wolf pack in Colorado in 70 years

87
FILE – This July 16, 2004, file photo, shows a gray wolf at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, Minn. Wildlife activists want Colorado voters to decide whether the endangered gray wolf should be reintroduced decades after it disappeared from the state. Backers of a voter initiative delivered thousands of signatures on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in hopes of getting the proposal on the 2020 ballot. (AP Photo/Dawn Villella, File)

DENVER  |  Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials confirmed the first documentation of a wolf pack in Colorado in more than 70 years.

DNA testing of scat samples taken near an elk carcass in Moffat County in January confirmed the samples came from wolves, KMGH-TV reports.

The test results from northwestern Colorado indicated three female wolves and one male and showed the animals were related and likely to be full siblings.

“We don’t know where or when they were born,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife species conservation manager Eric Odell said in a statement. “We can’t say. But that there are closely related wolves is a pretty significant finding.”

Parks and wildlife officials confirmed a sighting of six wolves in January about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the site of the elk carcass.

Officers heard distinct howls in the area before spotting the wolves through binoculars, the department said.

A pack of wolves was sighted in the same area in October, officials said.

CPW has said it will continue to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal partners to manage the wolves as they move into the area.