Colorado welcomes its first wolf pup in over 80 years

Touching scene of Gray Wolf mother with newborn pup
The news comes six months after wolves were reintroduced to the state (Image credit: Adria Photography)

Almost exactly six months after the howl of wolves returned to Colorado, the state has confirmed the birth of its first wolf pup.

In a news release yesterday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced the first successful reproduction following the reintroduction program which began with the release of 10 gray wolves into the wild last winter.

CPW biologists predicted that a female wolf was in a den with her young back in April when her GPS collar showed her to be remaining in place, and that timing aligned with expected wolf reproduction.

On Tuesday, scientists were able to confirm one wolf pup in Grand County via routine wolf monitoring efforts, which include observations from the air and ground, however there are no photos or videos available yet. 

"Because these wolves have successfully reproduced, they are officially considered a pack. The pack name is the Copper Creek Pack," reports the CPW.

Though only one pup has been confirmed so far, the department reports that a litter typically consists of between four and six pups and there may be more little ones in the wild.

Wolves breed once a year in the late winter and start denning in mid to late April. Pups usually come above ground in early summer.

European Gray Wolf, Canis lupus lupus

Wolves breed once a year in the late winter and start denning in mid to late April. Pups usually come above ground in early summer (Image credit: Getty Images / Raimund Linke)

Wolf safety

Your chances of encountering a wolf in Colorado today are still relatively low, and they are likely to give you a wide berth if you do end up on the same trail together. 

However, if you do encounter a wolf in the wild, you can protect yourself by making yourself appear bigger, standing your ground, securing your dog and making noise by shouting, using your hiking whistle or banging your trekking poles together. Learn more in our article on what to do if you encounter a wolf on the trail.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.