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Colorado middle schoolers voting to name reintroduced gray wolves

Students in grades 5-8 will be able to vote on 14 potential names for the first gray wolves to be reintroduced into the state


Although they were not old enough to vote on bringing gray wolves back to the state, Colorado middle school students will have a say in the wolf naming process.

The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center has announced a naming contest for the first gray wolves that will be reintroduced into their original native range. Until Dec. 20, middle school students in grades five through eight will have the opportunity to vote once for their favorite name from a list of 14, with the results to be finalized no later than Jan.1.

The contest comes just before the first gray wolves are set to be officially reintroduced to Colorado for the first time since they were killed off in 1940. The reintroduction is the product of a voter-approved 2020 bill that directed Colorado Parks and Wildlife to reintroduce some gray wolves back into the state by late 2023.

According to the announcement, the name with the most votes will be assigned to the first wolf released into the range. The naming process will then go in sequential order by the next highest vote tally for each subsequently released wolf. The total number of wolves that will be introduced is unknown.

The center sent an invitation to participate in the contest to all reachable Colorado public middle schools, according to the announcement. Representatives from schools that were not contacted can participate in the contest by sending an email to with “Wolf Naming Contest” in the subject line.