Early this week a state forestry worker photographed two cubs with his mobile phone, after which authorities contacted Saxony-based Lupus, a private consulting firm that advises governments on managing the return of the grey wolf to the region.
Lupus wolf expert Ilka Reinhardt, who has been observing the small wolf population since their return in the last few years, went out looking for the new litter with the forester and found not two, but four fuzzy new additions on Wednesday.
Now Reinhardt is trying to determine whether the cubs came from a pack that migrated to Brandenburg from Saxony. The Lausitz region straddles portions of both states and borders Poland.
Lupus plans to extend its work into Brandenburg to discover if the new litter is the second to be established in the state. There is already a known wolf pair that has been in the area, but experts believe they did not reproduce this year.
The Canis lupus, or grey wolf, was hunted in Germany beginning in medieval times. The species disappeared from the country in the 19th century, when they were driven east to Poland and Russia. But the wolf has been making a slow return despite residents’ fears and several poaching incidents with hunters. Experts estimate there are about five packs making up a total of 40 to 45 wolves in the Saxon Lausitz.