Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has observed wild wolf pups in Colorado for the first time since the 1940s.

According to a news release, officials have spotted three pups belonging to wolves M2101, or John, and F1084, or Jane. The observations occurred during dusk and dawn, and the pups exhibited "quite a lot of movement."

The sightings come after the passing of Proposition 114, which requires the reintroduction of gray wolves to Colorado by Dec. 31, 2023.

"We welcome this historic den and the new wolf family to Colorado," said Gov. Jared Polis in the release. "With voter passage last year of the initiative...these pups will have plenty of potential mates when they grow up to start their own families."

As the pups grow and begin to leave their den, officials hope to conduct further research and capture photos of the animals.

Systems are also in place to minimize conflict between the wolves and local landowners. The gray wolf is endangered and killing one has hefty consequences — including a $100,000 fine and jail time.

"It's incredible that these two adult animals have traveled the distance and overcome the challenges they have to get here, and to now have pups in Colorado," said Kris Middledorf, area wildlife manager for CPW. "It's our priority to ensure that they have the chance to thrive, so even as we have exciting news, we want to remind everyone that these animals remain dangered in Colorado."

Only three pups are on record, but officials believe there may be more in the litter. Find more information about the animals here. 

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