STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Three gray wolf pups were spotted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife in June.
Between June 4 and 8, staff conducted three separate observations of the den site from a safe distance, where they saw both M2101 "John" and F1084 "Jane," collared wolves, along with their three pups.
“We are continuing to actively monitor this den site while exercising extreme caution so as not to inadvertently jeopardize the potential survival of these pups,” said Libbie Miller, CPW wildlife biologist. “Our hope is that we will eventually have photos to document this momentous occasion in Colorado's incredible and diverse wildlife history, but not bothering them remains a paramount concern.”
CPW says while they've only observed three pups, a typical wolf litter consists of 4 - 6 pups.
This marks the first documented litter in the state since the 1940s, and it comes on the heels of a recently-passed proposition to re-introduce them back into Colorado.
Right now, CPW staff are working alongside landowners in the area to minimize conflict and foster a place where the wolves can survive.
As a state endangered species, killing a gray wolf in Colorado results in a fine of $100,000, jail time, and a loss of hunting privileges. Harassment of wildlife is also illegal in Colorado.
For more information on the wolf pups, click here.