Two dogs were attacked and killed by wolves this week in an area of northern Colorado. The dogs—described as a pet and a working ranch dog by Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW)—were attacked just four miles apart within a 24 hour period. One dog died at the scene of the attack while the other was euthanized due to its injuries.
Greg Sykes, the foreman of a ranch in Jackson County, Colorado, told Steamboat Radio that his border collie Cisco was attacked by wolves around 4 a.m. on Monday, March 13. When Cisco didn’t return with a group of livestock guardian dogs, Sykes went out looking for him. “I found him dead 30 yards from the house,” the ranch foreman told the local radio station. “Called CPW and they came out and confirmed it was a wolf kill. Two collared wolves that were at my house at 4 a.m.”
Less than 24 hours later, Syke’s neighbor, Roy Gollibith, found his pet dog Blaze bleeding badly from the neck. “I saw my dog, Blaze, standing out there with his head down,” Gollibith said in a recorded interview with Steamboat Radio. “I called him and he just kind of turned around and gave me this glazed look. And then I seen the blood on his throat there. It’s pretty white there on his chest, and it was pretty bloody … He was pretty tore up.”
CPW sent wildlife officials to the scene of both attacks. The agents found wolf tracks and retrieved GPS collar data indicating that wolves were indeed responsible for both dog deaths.
According to Steamboat Radio, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) held multiple meetings this week to address concerns from locals about the recent wolf attacks. During these public meetings, USFWS officials reportedly discussed the possibility of the lethal management of the wolves under the so-called 10(j) rule of the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Wolves are considered endangered in Colorado and are federally protected by the ESA.
The attacks come as Colorado works to implement a voter-mandated gray wolf “reintroduction plan.” The USFW has released a draft environmental impact statement that lays out its goal of transplanting 30-50 wolves from Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming onto the western slope of the Centennial State. The agency hopes to have a rule in place before the end of 2023, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports.