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Birth of 3 wolf puppies means Colorado has had its first native wolves since the 1940s

Colorado wildlife officials on Wednesday confirmed the existence of a litter of Gray Cubs – the first thought to have been seen in the state in decades. The find is also remarkable in light of an initiative adopted by voters last year to reintroduce wolves to Colorado by 2023.

In much of the United States, gray wolves have been driven to local extinction due to American expansion to the west and dedicated hunting programs. In Colorado, the last breeding populations were extinct by the 1940s. Today, they remain an endangered species largely confined to Alaska and parts of the northwest and upper Midwestern United States.S., as well as Canada and Mexico.

But there has been hope in recent years that wolves might begin to reclaim some of their historic territories., either by themselves or with the help of humans. Last year, Colorado residents adopted an initiative Calling for the reintroduction of wolves to the state by 2023 in a close vote that saw opposition from hunters and some herders. But it seems mother nature wasn’t waiting for permission.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, several staff, including a biologist, were able to confirm the sighting of at least three puppies between June 4 and 8, although there may be more. Puppies were found in the presence of collared wolves M2101 and F1084, nicknamed John and Jane. There had been suspicion Last year that the two would soon be parents, after they moved to the state as a pair and it was discovered that Jane was in fact female, not a male as originally labeled. But due to the risk that human interaction can bring to these animals, it took some time for this confirmation to occur. And even now the officials keep their distance.

“Our hope is that we will eventually have photos to document this momentous occasion in Colorado’s incredible and diverse wildlife history, but not disturbing them remains a primary concern,” CPW biologist Libbie Miller said in a statement. declaration published by the agency.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis also celebrated the news, referring to the next diktat to relocate the wolves in the state.

“We welcome this historic den and the new wolf family to Colorado. With voters voted last year on the initiative to require the reintroduction of the wolf by the end of 2023, these puppies will have plenty of potential mates when they grow up to start their own families, ”Polis said.

Colorado isn’t the only state with new baby wolves. California wildlife officials last year documented the arrival of eight new puppies to the only wolf pack known to live in the state.

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