Elk NetworkMystery Solved: Mountain Lion Takes Down Transplanted Colorado Wolf

General | May 29, 2024

It turns out a mountain lion did it.

After several weeks of uncertainty surrounding the death of a wolf captured in Oregon but transplanted into Colorado, wildlife officials say the animal died naturally after an encounter with a mountain lion.

“The initial necropsy report conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the deceased gray wolf found in Larimer County on April 18, 2024, finds that the cause of death is trauma, consistent with predation. Although not definitive, the puncture wounds in the skull are consistent with those typically inflicted by a mountain lion,” according to a statement by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Joe Szuszwalak.

The wolf is one of 10 released into Colorado after a 2020 ballot initiative passed, forcing the issue. Reports indicate transplanted wolves killed six livestock during the month of April, just four months after their release.

(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)