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Environment

DNA testing confirms first wolf pack in Colorado in 70 years

DNA testing of scat samples taken near an elk carcass in Moffat County in January confirmed the samples came from wolves

Colorado Parks and Wildlife on July 10, 2019, confirmed that a gray wolf photographed in Jackson County, Colorado, is a dispersing male gray wolf from Wyoming. The collared wolf is from the Snake River pack and was last recorded by transmission signals on Feb. 12, 2019, during routine telemetry flights around South Pass. (Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials confirmed the first documentation of a wolf pack in Colorado in more than 70 years.

DNA testing of scat samples taken near an elk carcass in Moffat County in January confirmed the samples came from wolves, KMGH-TV reports.

The test results from northwestern Colorado indicated three female wolves and one male and showed the animals were related and likely to be full siblings.

“We don’t know where or when they were born,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife species conservation manager Eric Odell said in a statement. “We can’t say. But that there are closely related wolves is a pretty significant finding.”

Parks and wildlife officials confirmed a sighting of six wolves in January about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the site of the elk carcass.

Officers heard distinct howls in the area before spotting the wolves through binoculars, the department said.

A pack of wolves was sighted in the same area in October, officials said.

CPW has said it will continue to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal partners to manage the wolves as they move into the area.