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Lambs likely killed by wolves in Brandenburg

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Lambs likely killed by wolves in Brandenburg
Photo: DPA
14:56 CEST+02:00
German farmers have been warned to get used to living with wolves after 15 lambs were killed and another 20 animals were severely injured in an attack in Brandenburg this month.

The attack occurred in a meadow in the town of Brück, just south of Potsdam near the High Fläming Nature Park on August 11, daily Märkische Allgemeine reported on Friday.

“Though the bite patterns are not the same on the older and younger animals, we can't rule out that wolves were responsible,” said Doris Lorenz of the state Environment Ministry.

It would be the first such wolf attack on record in the region, she told the paper.

The bodies of two animals that died in the attacks have been sent to a laboratory to determine whether the attack was by wolves or possibly a roaming pack of dogs.

The incident was made possible in part by a small opening in the pasture fence, Lorenz said, and she urged livestock owners to take greater precautions against Germany's growing wolf population.

According to the Environment Ministry, the rare and protected canines live in seven parts of Brandenburg, mainly on old military training sites and abandoned mining facilities. In total some 60 wolves live in Germany, mainly in the northeast, but experts believe they are constantly spreading across the country.

This February, the ÖJV ecological hunters' association urged people in the southern state of Bavaria to remain calm following confirmation that a lone wolf has been spotted near the southern community of Brannenburg.

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 to Germany despite residents' fears and several lethal incidents with angry hunters.

In June 2009 a hunter in Saxony-Anhalt was charged with killing a male wolf that lived with a female and their young cubs at the military training facility in Altengrabow.

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