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First wolf in Rhineland for 120 years shot dead

Published: 23 Apr 2012 12:41 GMT+02:00

The Rhineland-Palatinate Hunting Association was “99 percent sure that the dead animal is the wolf,” a spokesman for the Rhineland-Palatinate Hunting Association told The Local.

Speaking from Gensingen, Günther Klein said the dead animal was found by walkers in the Westerwald on Saturday evening. It was a male weighing around 30 kilos, he said.

Tests are being conducted on the cadaver, to find out as much as possible about the wolf.

Whether the wolf was victim to a hunter remains unclear, but the animal was shot with a high-calibre weapon, the sort of firearm which only a licensed hunter could legally possess.

Click here for more pictures of wolves in Germany.

President of the Association, Kurt Alexander Michael, strongly condemned the killing, and said that if a hunter was found to be responsible, they would face a heavy fine and the revocation of their hunting licence.

The wolf was first sighted and photographed in late February near Steimel - the first to be seen in Rhineland Palatinate for 123 years. Experts from the German Nature Conservation Union said it posed no threat to people.

The return of wolves to Germany has mostly taken part in eastern areas as they return from Poland. A recent study suggested fears of farmers that the canines would feast on valuable sheep could be unfounded, as they mostly make deer their dinners.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:44 April 23, 2012 by BR549
A REAL Jaeger in Germany would never do such a thing so if this individual is caught, and is a Jaeger, he should be banned and fined.

But, the statement "the sort of firearm which only a licensed hunter could legally possess" is not accurate. Members of shooting clubs may also own firearms of these calibre and are not always hunters.

Could have been anybody... so don't just jump out an blame hunters.
15:59 April 23, 2012 by bugger
The cops could analyse the traces on the bullet and keep them on file. The barrel belonging to this bullet could be found somewhen.
17:06 April 23, 2012 by budpg
Whether it's someone from a shooting club or a self proclaimed "sportsman" these people are always the ones killing animals that they think have no right to exist. The arrogance is stunning.....Hunters move further and further away from being "true stewards" of the environment. In the US they whine about "decimated" game herds when the facts show a completely different picture...Predators balance ecosystems while hunters could care less about a healthy ecosystem. They are SELFISH
17:24 April 23, 2012 by catjones
'Hunter' is a meaningless designation. An 'accountant' with a gun could have killed the wolf.....unless, of course, it was suicidal.
19:24 April 23, 2012 by McChatter
Wolves ain't dumb. I prefer venison to lamb every time!
20:28 April 23, 2012 by Al uk
Hunters. A better term for them would be Vandals!
21:11 April 23, 2012 by bramblebush
It sounds like to me you have a bonofided redneck loose out there blasting everything that moves like they were back in Podunk Tennesee or Sara Palin heard there was a wolf in Germany and has sneaked into the country....
21:44 April 23, 2012 by cheeba
why only a fine? 10 years in prison is what will deter these types
22:16 April 23, 2012 by BR549
Again, no REAL hunter would do such a thing. But grouping hunters into a category with one idiot"s actions is wrong.

As a hunter, I spend most of my time improving the habitat and cleaning up trash left by those non-hunters who bash what we do.

I see first hand what effect people have on the plants and animals in the forest by turning the forest into a party zone for binge drinking and cutting illegal trails through areas where Red Deer bed down so they can ride their mountain bikes.

Spare me your obviously mis-informed opinions and calling the 99.9% of hunters in Germany who work hard at conservation names like "vandals" or being "selfish".
23:50 April 23, 2012 by budpg
Gee BR549- Hunters in the US do the same thing. They kill anything that they think doesn't have the right to exist, and then say-GEEZ- only .1 % of hunters would do such a thing......Meanwhile,they are out blasting away coyote and prairie dog families and bragging about it on youtube
01:07 April 24, 2012 by Whipmanager
budpg: if you don't have a dog in this hunt, you should relax. Hunters? Probably a farmer. Although, I saw an article in the Rheinland Pfalz talking about a gun store owner, I think it was in Kaiserslautern, that sold this FNFAL to a Deer for self defense. I hear the Deer there are getting tired of being stalked by the big bad wolf and took matters into their own hands...kind of like you do on Friday nights. Of course, I heard that near Sembach, three pigs bought a similar gun were aiming to shoot them a wolf...the Police are looking into it.
02:46 April 24, 2012 by genedoc60
As a hunter myself I consider this act to be nothing more the an act of pure Vandalism. This is the work of an arrogant self centered individual with visions of God hood dancing in their small minds. I live in Canada I read the Local to keep up with German news. Most good and responsible hunters will look out for their enviroment and nature. We here in Canada like hunters in Germany are always cleaning up and improving natural habitat. We know what side our bread is buttered on. Our groups donate time and money to conservation through out the year. So let us please look at this from a logical and well rounded forum and not point fingers at the people with guns as the evil ones.
02:47 April 24, 2012 by budpg
Whipmanager- What are you some kind of a comedian? Deer, elk, moose and predators like wolves have managed to coexist for thousands of years.....Before farmers, ranchers and hunters thought it would be better if they were in control-How has that worked out for wildlife? Farmers and hunters- they could care less about healthy ecosystems
09:37 April 24, 2012 by MaKo
I'd like to point out that a "Jäger" (hunter) in Germany is a very precise designation. It refers to a professional hunter, who is well educated in forest and wildlife husbandry, well-versed in hunting laws, and is usually an employee of the state.

The situation is markedly different from that in the U.S., where in many states you can fill out a form and pay a minor fee, do a little shopping at Wal-Mart, and pow! You're a hunter now. I do think that the majority of hunters in the U.S. are both informed and conscientious stewards of the forest; it's just that the *possibility* of the over-the-counter model exists. In Germany, it simply doesn't.

It seems that this wolf was killed at the hands of a "Wilderer" - that's the designation for an illegal hunter, or poacher.
11:59 April 24, 2012 by BR549
MaKo - You made a very good point and I agree the wolf was probably shot by a poacher.

On the topic of hunting in the US, it is really difficult to assess, because laws and wildlife management differ from state to state. Also, many states that have problems with overpopulation of animals have more lenient hunting laws.

An exmple is many southern states have an over abundance of white tail deer, feral swine and coyotes. That, in combination that hunting is perceived as a born right and not a privilege leads to many "Wal-Mart" hunters which is embarrassing.

I think the US should adopt a similar approach like germany, such as good training and a "jagdrevier system".

Waidmannsheil....
14:31 April 24, 2012 by McM
If his name was Christian then I suggest the investigators take a look in the Bild mailbox. Track record and all that.
16:38 April 24, 2012 by Navigator_B
Every year there are many newspaper reports of illegal shootings by "Jäger". Some are fatal, including some shootings of humans. Some are deliberate but many are just a result of carelessness. It's likely that that the wolf was shot by someone thinking "if it moves, shoot it and ask questions later".
18:15 April 24, 2012 by Englishted
Has anyone asked little red riding hoods family?

But sad news I hope they catch the low life.
13:34 April 28, 2012 by coffeelover
in reply to #10 budpg,, it is open season on coyotes as they chase cattle, raid chickens, lure and kill cattledogs, other pets, other livestock. for hundreds of years it was thought prairie dogs with their large colony resulting in hundreds of burrows (holes) caused livestock broken legs, thus lost money. attitude of ranchers nowadays is slowly softening on prairie dog towns.
16:41 November 19, 2012 by almorr
Great having the wolves back, reminds me of the story of 'Little Red Riding Hood', she got home and there was a wolf in her grandma's bed.
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