A recent investigation by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has shed light on a potential case of livestock depredation. The investigation began in October 2022 on U.S. Forest Service land near Meeker after several calves were found with hide damage and muscle trauma consistent with a canine attack. Despite a thorough investigation, the exact cause of death for the few calves could not be determined.
CPW investigators initially suspected that wolves might be responsible for the depredation. However, the discovery of a pack of nine dogs harassing wildlife seven miles away cast doubt on the theory. As a result, the CPW is now working with the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s office. Their goal is to deal with any domestic dog issues according to legal processes.
Likely Not Wolves
Although some cattle showed wounds consistent with injuries from large canines, the CPW could not confirm the presence of wolves in the area. The damage done to the calves leaves CPW to believe this was done by something larger than a coyote.
The owner of the livestock, Lenny Klinglesmith, has agreed with the CPW’s findings and praised the agency for its thorough investigation. Due to the lack of evidence of wolves in the area, Klinglesmith will not be pursuing compensation.
The investigation’s outcome highlights the importance of proper identification of predators in livestock depredation cases. Inaccurate or hasty identification of the predator species can lead to unnecessary damage and harm to both wild and domestic animals. Livestock producers and veterinarians must work together to investigate potential health components and implement effective mitigation efforts to protect livestock from harm.
In conclusion, the investigation by the CPW into livestock depredation highlights the challenges of identifying the predator species responsible. The lack of evidence of wolves in the area serves as a reminder to carefully consider all possibilities before assigning blame. Livestock producers and veterinarians must continue to work together to develop effective strategies to mitigate the impact of predation on livestock.