Hundreds of ranchers in Colorado are worried about several wolves that were airlifted into the state and released this week. Wolves were eradicated from Colorado in the 1940s. After three years and dozens of public hearing disagreements, the first handful of wolves were moved from Oregon into Colorado.
“Just watching an animal leave the crate and run up the hillside is a majestic site,” says Eric Odell, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Species Conservation Manager. Many ranchers spent a lot of time in the Colorado statehouse fighting the wolf releases and in a federal courtroom last week. Several ranchers who spoke with public broadcasting in the state have gone shopping for the biggest guard dogs they can find.
It’s not just farmers and ranchers objecting to the release, either. Tourism directors in several towns are worried and point out it’s another predator to watch out for with children and small animals.