Wolf found in Netherlands is no joke

2013-08-08 12:30
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Hague, South Holland – The first wolf found in the Netherlands in over 140 years walked there freely from eastern Europe, scientists said on Wednesday, dismissing allegations its body had been dumped as joke.

The female wolf has mystified the Netherlands since its body was found by the roadside near the tiny village of Luttelgeest in the north of the country in July.

Some had even suggested that eastern European agricultural workers employed in the Netherlands had brought the wolf from their home country in order to confound the Dutch.

But now a bevvy of Dutch scientific and wildlife groups have come together to establish the truth.

The Dutch Wildlife Health Centre (DWHC) said in a statement after a press conference that "the wolf died from a heavy blow to the head, apparently from being hit by a car."

The wolf was in good health, around one and a half years old and had just eaten some young beaver, the DWHC said in a joint statement with the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, the Alterra research institute and WolvenInNederland (Wolves in the Netherlands).

The wolf apparently originally came from "eastern Europe, near the Russian border," Naturalis and Alterra said.

It seemingly entered the Netherlands "by natural means" and lived here for some time before being run over, WolvenInNederland and Alterra said.

However, more research needs to be done to be more precise, the groups said.

"In any case the body showed no signs of having been transported to the Netherlands. There were no signs it had been frozen.

"Furthermore there were no signs of wear on the fur, paws or claws that would suggest captivity."

Wolf droppings have also been found in the area, although they did not necessarily come from the dead wolf, the statement said.

Alterra researcher Geert Groot Bruinderink told state broadcaster NOS that "there's a big possibility" that wolves are present in the Netherlands.

"If one is found then there are more," he said.

The last sighting of a wolf in the Netherlands was in 1869, but in the southeast of the country near Germany, national news agency ANP reported.

Changing conservation policies since the 1990s have allowed wolf populations to increase in western Europe, including in France, Germany and Italy.

Read more on:    netherlands  |  animals

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

In order to really connect to your feelings, you need to quieten your mind. Let go of expectations and connect to the moment you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.