WARNING: Some images are graphic.
By Shannon Lukens
Three calves have died on Arapaho Ranch in Jackson County since Monday. Shawn Foster is the caretaker of the ranch.
“I have never seen anything eaten or killed in this manner before. Nothing on the inside all the way up to the windpipe. Everything is picked totally clean. Almost like you used a scalpel on her.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife came out to Foster’s ranch each day and performed a necropsy on the calves. We were there Tuesday. The officer said there are no signs of a predator’s kill.
CPW spokesperson Travis Duncan emailed Steamboat Radio, “CPW wildlife officers have visited the ranch in Jackson County and found no recent evidence of wolf depredation.”
The officer at Foster’s ranch performing the necropsy said he presumed that the calves could have died naturally and were then eaten by some sort of predator, or even birds.
“I don’t see how that could have happened. There’s no way that that many calves would have died within that short of an area of natural causes. Everything is looked at two or three times a day. I believe that it was a wolf that killed in just a little bit of a different style then they are used to seeing.”
Other ranchers in that area agree that they think it is wolves killing the three calves on Foster’s ranch, but CPW says it wasn’t. Two calves that recently died on the Gittleson property were chased by the wolves and that’s why they died, according to Don Gittleson. Foster asked the CPW officers about other predators. They said he can shoot a bear or mountain lion in the act of killing his cattle, but he can’t shoot a wolf.
“I believe that they’ve made a wolf’s life more important than a human’s life. We have no way to defend ourself or or property from them.”
The Jackson County Extension Office has received some game cameras. Some of Foster’s neighbors are going to try to set them up on the property.
The Arapaho Ranch is 12 miles from Hwy 40 on 14, in Jackson County.