Wolves in Colorado

First Confirmed Wolf in Colorado in 69 Years

Theo Stein / Denver Post / AP / June 23, 2004

A young wolf from a Yellowstone pack was found dead along Interstate 70 west of Idaho Springs on Saturday, the first confirmed wild wolf in Colorado in 69 years.

The appearance of the female wolf, designated No. 293, was confirmation that Yellowstone wolves, reintroduced in 1995, are attempting to establish new territories hundreds of miles from home.

Wolves have been sighted in southern Wyoming for the past two years, but 293's appearance so deep into Colorado astounded even one of the country's top wolf biologists.

Experts said the female probably was hit by a car during an unsuccessful search for a mate.

"It's not uncommon for young wolves traveling long distances to end up getting killed by people," said Yellowstone wolf biologist Douglas Smith. "I'm just surprised she survived the human gauntlet as far as she did."