When wolves come into a state either through natural migration or relocation, there is a similar pattern of fear and misinformation.
I have worked as a veterinarian for 28 years, the majority deep in wolf territory.
Wisconsin has a stable population of 900 wolves. I did depredation claims for my livestock producers, studied wolves for the state and dealt with wolf-related injuries and deaths. So I was thrilled to attend the excellent wolf forum at Fort Lewis College.
Wolf critics always fear that wolves are going to kill something they value. For ranchers, it’s livestock; for hunters, it’s game; for pet owners, it’s their dogs.
Living with predators is not without risk, but science and experience has shown that the risk of living with wolves is very small.
U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics reflect my own experience. Cattle are 20 times more likely to die from pneumonia than be killed by any predator. Dogs in wolf country are 10 times more likely to be killed by a bear and 1,000 times more likely to die of cancer than a wolf attack.
States with wolves see wildlife populations and forest habitats improve with the more balanced ecosystem. Millions of people and tens of millions of livestock currently coexist with wolves.
Wolves aren’t cold-blooded killers, they are simply necessary predators. It’s time that we listen to the facts, not the fear and fiction.
With minimal risk and your support, we can make room for wolves in Colorado.