We recently shared a story about the exciting birth of 12 critically endangered red wolf pups at the North Carolina Zoo. Now, we’re happy to bring you more good news regarding wolf conservation in the US — Colorado has just recorded the birth of the first litter of gray wolf pups in more than 80 years.
The news was confirmed by a state biologist and district wildlife manager, both of whom spotted the litter of at least three wolf pups over the weekend with their two adult parents. Wolf litters typically have four to six pups, so officials believe there could be more.
The discovery comes after Colorado voters approved a ballot measure last year that requires the state to reintroduce the animal on public lands in the western part of the state by the end of 2023, reports the Guardian.
Last year, officials confirmed the presence of a small pack of wolves in north-western Colorado after multiple sightings since 2019. Experts believe the pack of wolves has traveled south from Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park. The animals were hunted, trapped, and poisoned to the brink of extermination in Colorado in the 1940s.
Wildlife advocates deem Colorado’s reintroduction of gray wolves as an essential step in accelerating the rebound of the species’ population in its US habitat. Currently, about 3,000 of the animals roam portions of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Northern California.