Wolves In Colorado: Wildlife Officials Believe Pack Scavenged Elk Carcass

(CBS4) — The question of whether to reintroduce wolves to Colorado is now a ballot measure will be decided by Colorado voters — however it may be a moot point. Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife say they have already seen signs of wolf activity in the northwest part of the state.

(credit: Rocky Mountain Wolf Project)

Witnesses reported seeing six large canids in the far northwestern part of the state last October. Then, last week, officials reported discovering a dead elk that had been “ripped to pieces,” according to the Craig Press.

The paper cited CPW officials as saying a hunting party found “large, dog-type tracks around the carcass, leading the hunters to believe it was from wolves.”

“Last week’s discovery of a thoroughly scavenged bull elk carcass close to the sighting strongly suggests a pack of gray wolves may now be residing in Colorado,” CPW said on Twitter on Wednesday.

RELATED: ‘Restoration Of Gray Wolves’ Proposal Will Be Up To Colorado Voters

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced Monday that proponents had gathered enough signatures to get Initiative 107 — “Restoration of Gray Wolves” — on the 2020 General Election ballot.

Advocates say having gray wolves back in Colorado could restore the state’s natural balance and believe it should be for the people to decide.

RELATED: Some Ranchers Believe Colorado Is Missing A Key Piece Of The West: Wolves

Opponents say the decision should be made by experts with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

(credit: CBS)

As it stands, the initiative specifies that reintroduction would happen on BLM land in western Colorado where it is more abundant and would include a fund to reimburse ranchers if livestock was killed.