tirsdag den 16. oktober 2012

The first wolf in Denmark in 200 years?

Strange things are a foot in northern Denmark. On October 14th, a group of birdwatchers in Thy National Park in northern Denmark saw and photographed what they believed were a wolf. One of the admittedly not very good pictures can be seen here: http://www.fugleognatur.dk/gallery.asp?mode=ShowLarge&ID=197198 The animal was seen rather late in the day and at a fair distance, but for almost half an hour. It is a rather exciting find, if it is indeed a wolf, as the closest confirmed wolf sighting was a young animal in northern Germany about 100 km south of the danish-german border a couple of years ago. And that's some 500 km south of Thy National Park. There has been sightings of a wolf-like animal in the area for the last couple of years, 4 sightings that I know of at least, but this is the first time anyone has taken a photograph. There has also been sightings in the area around Silkeborg, a densely wooded area filled with lakes about 200 km further south. These sightings have been going on for many years. I have documented a lot of these, including a couple of cases where people have heard wolves (yes - plural) howling.

I have also collected a few sightings in the area just around the border with Germany, so the possibility of a wolf in Denmark is not that remote. As of now everybody, self included is waiting for more people with big lenses to get out there and take some better pictures. But unfortunately we are also waiting for the inevitable panic reactions, people demanding that the animal be shot or farmers claiming that a lone wolf have killed 200 of their cows or sheep or whatever, and that there children are in grave danger the moment they step out the door. Reactions like this almost makes you wish it is in fact just a stray dog, but it looks rather convincing to me. Stay tuned for further developments.

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