Authorities are warning people that it is illegal to kill grey wolves as the likelihood of seeing them increases in Colorado.
Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife claim that wolves are becoming more prevalent in neighbouring states and that they are known to traverse great distances.
According to officials, there have been more confirmed sightings of wolves in Colorado over the past few years as well as an increase in reports of them.
The federal Endangered Species Act continues to provide protection for grey wolves, as stated in a statement released by CPW on Monday.
Officials cautioned that killing a wolf or any other endangered animal might result in harsh punishments like criminal charges, a year in jail, and a fine of up to $100,000.
“Before taking any animal, you must be confident of your aim, whether you are a trapper, an elk hunter, a deer hunter, a coyote hunter, or a landowner defending cattle from predators,” CPW Director Bob Broscheid stated. A key component of safe and ethical hunting is knowing your prey and the species you are after.
In April 2015, a hunter erroneously shot and killed what he believed to be a coyote a few kilometres north of Kremling.
After finding that the hunter was legally hunting, had not killed the wolf on purpose, and had quickly reported the occurrence to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided against pressing charges.
By completing the online Wolf Sighting Form, members of the public are invited to report any sightings of wolves in Colorado.