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CPW closes investigation into cause of death of calf near Meeker

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigation that began on U.S. Forest Service land near Meeker in October 2022 has concluded. CPW investigators could not determine the exact cause of death for a few calves with hide damage and trauma consistent with a canine attack.

Discovery of a pack of nine dogs harassing wildlife seven miles from the livestock incident cast doubt on whether wolves were in the area. CPW is working with the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s office on a call-by-call basis and will deal with any domestic dog issues according to legal processes. 

“Although a few cattle showed wounds consistent with injuries from large canines, further investigation to collect additional evidence has yielded no confirmation of wolves in the area,” said CPW Northwest Region Manager Travis Black.

“Based on the hide damage and muscle trauma to the animals, we believe these few cattle were likely killed, or injured and died later, by some species of canine larger than coyotes,” Black said, “but we do not have specific evidence to determine what species of canid caused the depredations. The 90-day window allowed for producers to provide proof of loss has expired, so the investigation is being closed.”  

The owner of the livestock, Lenny Klinglesmith, agreed and praised the agency for its thorough investigation.

“The Klinglesmith family would like to thank the local DWMs and veterinary staff for the many hours spent in the field and in the office investigating this incident,” Klinglesmith said. 

Due to lack of evidence of wolves in the area, Klinglesmith will not be further pursuing compensation. 

The livestock producer and livestock veterinarians continue to investigate potential health components and mitigation efforts beyond the initial report of depredation.