Colorado has its first litter of gray wolf pups since the 1940s, state wildlife officials said on Wednesday. A state biologist and district wildlife manager both spotted the litter of at least three wolf pups over the weekend with their parents, two adult wolves known to live in the state. Most wolf litters have four to six pups, so there could be more. The discovery comes after Colorado voters narrowly approved a ballot measure last year that requires the state to reintroduce the animal on public lands in the western part of the state by the end of 2023. Gray wolves lost their federal protected status as an endangered species earlier this year. But they remain protected at the state level, and hunting the animals in Colorado is illegal. Penalties for violations include fines, jail time and a loss of hunting license privileges. “These pups will have plenty of potential mates when they grow up to start their own families,” Polis said in a statement. Gray wolves were hunted, trapped and poisoned into extermination in Colorado in the 1940s. Officials last year confirmed the presence of a small pack of wolves in north-western Colorado after a number of sightings […]

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