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Wolves close in on Berlin
Photo: WWF

Wolves close in on Berlin

Published: 19 Nov 2012 12:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Nov 2012 12:00 GMT+01:00

A pack of wolves has settled near Berlin and has become well established enough to have cubs. Researchers caught them on camera, just 25 kilometres from the capital.

"The pictures make it clear that the wider area of Berlin-Brandenburg has finally become wolf territory," said Janosch Arnold of the WWF in a statement.

The crucial point is that the wolves in Sperenberg, western Brandenburg, are from an established family unit - not just individuals which drifted over the border from Poland.

Their proximity to Berlin is bound to raise interest, even though wolves rarely venture into urban areas. The researchers are keen to see the wolves tolerated and to prevent conflicts with farmers as has been seen occasionally in other places where the canines have returned.

"The aim must be to guarantee a seamless management of the wolf population and to avoid conflicts with livestock farmers, hunters, and tourism," said Arnold.

The pack was photographed by WWF researchers on Thursday using night-vision technology. The rare sighting followed tip-offs from local residents about the presence of wolves in the area.

Sightings of wolves have become increasingly common in Germany since they were put under protection in 1990. Population growth, however, has been slow, with few packs reproducing.

In 2006 there was only one known family in the country with successful offspring, fittingly in Saxony, where the 'last wolf' of Germany had been shot in 1904.

The return of wolves to Germany has not been without controversy. A WWF report on the wolf population admits that they are often received with "mixed feelings". Wolf attacks on sheep herds in 2002 in Mühlrose, killing 33 sheep, led to the introduction of closer wolf management strategies.

Click here to see pictures of wolves around Germany

But humans who see wolves ought to feel privileged rather than afraid, said Arnold.

"There's no need to be worried - quite the reverse," he told the taz newspaper. "You have the chance to enjoy a rare sight, afforded to only a few people."

Wolves are not the only predator making a comeback. The endangered European wildcat has also been spreading through the country's woods, a report suggested on Monday.

The study by the German League for Environment and Conservation and the Federal Agency for Conservation revealed that numbers of the powerful cats had risen to between 5,000 and 7,000.

DPA/The Local/pmw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:26 November 19, 2012 by raandy
Nice, I wish them well.
19:45 November 19, 2012 by DOZ
Beware the Wolf and the Fox.
20:17 November 19, 2012 by Englishted
It is only the actors from Twilight having a after works party.
01:12 November 20, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
nice side effect of the human resource system which is herding us into cities. Now wild animals are getting some living space again.
18:04 November 23, 2012 by Cincinnatus
So - now the wolves are at the gates, both financially and personally. It is fascinating how the LUPINE BANKERS and POLITICIANS (in unholy alliance) have managed to loot the financial systems of the world and the anti-human greenies have managed to also loot our public finances to destroy the economic structures of the world. It is no wonder that the wolves, wildcats and other predators are encircling humankind. They sense that they will once again (soon?) be the superior predators.
02:53 March 2, 2013 by ladypoohbear
Save the wolves......
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