GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
One little girl’s fear of wolves grew into a passion to be their voice. Founder of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, Darlene Kobobel says, “You look in their eyes, you run your fingers through their hair, or you hear them howl. To me, there is nothing more beautiful.”
Now, this little girl is the woman welcoming the wolves reintroduction to Colorado, and she’s hear to shatter the big, bad misconceptions. “If you were out camping or riding your bike out in the mountains, you’re not going to have a pack of wolves hunt you down,” said Kobobel.
Cattle ranchers might fear their livelihood falling prey to Timberwolves, but this wolf expert has a fact and Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a backup plan. “According to USDA, depredation is just basically .02%,” said Kobobel. Randy Hampton with the CPW says, “Parks and Wildlife has a game damage program that deals with predators and loss to livestock producers.” Kobobel says, “They belong, and it’s time to bring them back.”
The beautiful spot at the Kindred Reserve in Grand Junction is a similar type of place for wolves to get a drink and the wolves’ prey including: moose, elk, and deer. But one conservationist says wolves aren’t hurting conservation efforts and they’re not killing the thrill of hunt for big game trophy human hunters because wolves go for the old, the young, and most importantly, they go for the diseased. Darlene says, “Our elk population is actually a little out of control here, and so, we do need to bring the balance back in. We do have a big problem with chronic waste disease.”
The CDC says CWD is a neurological disease affecting deer species and the World Health Organization recommends keeping the infected from being eaten by humans, and Darlene says the best way is restoring the wolf prey balance. “They’re an amazing animal, and it might be something you fall in love with just like I did,” said Darlene.
If you want to learn more about wolves up close and personal, pet them, get wolf kisses, and hear their howling song, you can take the scenic drive to Divide, Colorado and take the wolf tour at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center.
For more information and how to donate to help their efforts, click here.