DENVER (AP) — For nearly two years, wolf expert Karin Vardaman has tracked wolves in northwest Colorado's Moffat County for Working Circle, a nonprofit that helps ranchers live with predators.
The area near the Wyoming border appeared to be home to Colorado's first wolf pack in a century, according to state officials.
DNA testing of scat samples near an elk carcass in Moffat County from January of 2020 confirmed that the samples came from wolves, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The DNA results indicated three female wolves and one male wolf and showed that the wolves were related, likely as full siblings.
A pack of wolves was also reportedly sighted in the same area in October of last year.
But the pack's rapid disappearance poses a mystery as Colorado prepares to introduce wolves after voters approved the proposal last year.
While Vardaman wants wolves to return to Colorado, she’s concerned the animals won’t succeed without a greater acceptance of the predators in rural communities.