WILDLIFE

Recently reintroduced Colorado wolves could find their way into Utah

Dec 22, 2023, 3:00 PM

gray wolf show, wolves may wander into utah...

A gray wolf is seen in a trail camera image on the Sherman Creek Ranch, March 26, 2023, near Walden, Colorado. As state officials prepared to reintroduce wolves in western Colorado, a small number of the animals already have wandered in from Wyoming. (Don Gittleson via AP)

(Don Gittleson via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Colorado released several wolves into the state on Monday as part of its reintroduction plan. Utah wildlife officials said there’s a chance they could wander into the Beehive state.

Kim Hersey with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said Utah has protective plans in place if some of the wolves decide to cross the border.

“Whenever you do a reintroduction of, especially of a large animal that’s prone to wandering, and young as those wolves are… there’s certainly a good chance that they could wander outside of Colorado and the experimental population boundary.”

If someone does see them in the state, Utahns cannot kill or trap them, even if they attack livestock.

“In all except a small portion of Utah, wolves would be considered endangered under the Endangered Species Act,” Hersey said.

Because of their endangered status, Utah officials are limited in the actions they can take if a wolf is spotted in the state. But Hersey said wildlife officials worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to get permits to allow them to capture and return the wolves to Colorado.

Hersey said that if you do see a wolf, it is best to contact the DWR or other Utah wildlife agencies

Utah’s political leaders have not voted to start wolf reintroduction programs here.

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Recently reintroduced Colorado wolves could find their way into Utah