Wolf killed in the Westerwald

Now we know it for sure: The animal recently shot by a hunter in Rheinland-Pfalz was a wolf. It’s probably the same animal that was sighted and photographed in the Westerwald in late February 2012. This first documented observation of a wolf in Rheinland-Pfalz after 123 years had inspired hopes that the grey predators might return to this part of Germany.

Wolf in an autumn forest

Wolves could show up everywhere in Germany. Therefore it's important to make provisions.

© Wolf Steiger

The dead wolf was found by passers-by near Hartenfels in the Westerwald district on the 21st of April. The person who fired the fatal shot, a 71-year-old hunter, little later surrendered to the police. Allegedly he intended to shoot a dog chasing deer. However, a tissue analysis by the Senckenberg Research Institute unequivocally identified the victim as a wolf. The matter will therefore be dealt with by the Koblenz public prosecution department. “The wolf is a strictly protected species. We strongly condemn the killing of the Westerwald wolf. Even if the hunter mistook the animal, the shooting of the wolf has to be punished severely”, says EuroNatur Executive Director Gabriel Schwaderer.

In order to avoid conflicts between humans and wolves and to facilitate the greys’ return to Germany, EuroNatur together with a group of experts drew up “Wolf Guidelines” and thus paved the way for effective wolf management in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The guidelines include advice for dealing with immigrating single wolves in Baden-Wuerttemberg. “Wolves can appear anywhere in Germany. The latest incident shows how important it is that all federal states promptly and seriously prepare for the appearance of wolves. The roaming radius of these fascinating animals is very large”, reminds Gabriel Schwaderer.

More about EuroNatur projects for the protection of wolves in Europe

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