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Lone wolf stokes fears in Bavaria

The Local · 25 Oct 2010, 11:35

Published: 25 Oct 2010 11:35 GMT+02:00

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Authorities in the Bayrischzell district near the Austrian border have decided to allow the wolf to stay there at least for the winter. But strict protection laws are coming into conflict with concerns of alpine farmers.

The winter months, when farming in the Alps is suspended, should be used to develop a harm minimisation programme, said the head of the Bavarian Environment Ministry, Albert Göttle, according to daily Die Welt.

Wolves are strictly protected in Germany. They cannot be shot, nor resettled or even bothered in any way, unless there is strong evidence they pose a danger to humans.

This was not the case with this wolf, which was behaving completely normally, the daily reported Göttle as saying.

“Even the behaviour around human settlements is classed by our experts as normal,” he said.

However not all locals are so convinced.

“It is an area that is very heavily populated and in which the living space is very limited for a large predator,” said Jakob Kreidl, a councilor in the town of Miesbach.

The wolf was moving closer to populated areas, he said.

“I have indicated that people must take precedence over an animal,” he said. “We will observe further developments.”

After being driven out of Germany in the mid-1800s, wolves have returned to Germany over the past decade or so, mostly by migrating from the forests of Poland.

The Bayrischzell wolf has killed 21 sheep since last December. Five deer have also been found dead.

Some alpine farmers brought their sheep down from the higher-altitude pastures earlier than they would otherwise have. But Jakob Opperer, head of the Bavaria’s State Office for Agriculture, said this was no long-term solution.

Farmers are compensated for sheep killed under the wolf management plan. However Opperer said that “the financial loss is not the main problem for agriculture.”

Story continues below…

A sheep also had an emotional value for farmers, he said.

Alpine farmers want to try out some new strategies next summer. Sheep dogs could be a solution, as could rounding up sheep at night.

Bavaria has taken an aggressive stance towards big predators in the past, including shooting Bruno the "problem bear" in 2006 after he made the mistake of wandering over the Alps into the southern German state. Bruno was the first wild bear in Germany since 1838.

The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:02 October 25, 2010 by marimay
It is probably Bavaria's only wolf so leave it alone.
13:10 October 25, 2010 by domiDDD
Hunters given permission to shoot marauding panther ,oops I mean wolf.
14:40 October 25, 2010 by T.J. Morton
Seriously, the sheep have emotional value for the farmers? I guess the saying that applies to several western states in the U.S. also applies to Bavaria?

Bavaria, where the men are men and the sheep are scared!
15:08 October 25, 2010 by Frenemy
Intrepid wolf finally living up to his family name (his great great great great grandfather used to terrorize the ever-loving sh!t outta little girls prancing around in red costume in/around the black forest area...)
20:00 October 25, 2010 by SilverBattleAxe
A sheep has an emotional value for a farmer?

What's that all about? This article needs to explain that statement a bit more. An emotional relationship with a sheep?
21:47 October 25, 2010 by wxman
The answer is the same in Bavaria as it is in Montana, "Bang, Bang!"
00:16 October 26, 2010 by Frenemy
awww, c'mon wxman...one shot one kill bruv!! (conserve ammo)
07:21 October 26, 2010 by proclusian
Lone Wolf = Horst Seehofer
16:34 October 26, 2010 by storymann
traps are dangerous as anyone can stumble on them,especially if they are leg holds..even if you post around the area someone will miss that.Its a tragedy to kill this beautiful animal,," damed if you do damed if you don't" all bad news for the wolf.
23:36 October 26, 2010 by Lachner
I say let the Wolf live in peace. He is probably the only Wolf in Bavaria so perhaps it should be best to send him a mate to reproduce in the wild.
01:56 October 28, 2010 by Gretl
wxman - very true, but my mom and people like her are trying to combat that by breeding and selling Great Pyrennes Mountain dogs as stock protection dogs in Montana. They work well for coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, and bears. You get a couple of them and let them patrol and you have no stock loss. Maybe the old (European) ways are the best.
17:01 October 28, 2010 by Johann aus Afrika
Has anyone ever sat back and considered what a fantastic world we would have if we had more wolves (and other aminals)and less humans. I think that humans in general are treating the environment irresponsibly. I also believe that we (and our greed for resources and space) will be the reason for the extinction of human-kind. Leave the wolf alone, give him more space and bring him some company - it stand you in good stead the day you meet your maker!
20:29 October 28, 2010 by colombowayne
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
00:43 October 29, 2010 by willowsdad
Keep the Muslims, get rid of the bigots.
13:19 March 13, 2012 by Harry Grouse
íkay I have read all four wolf related articles and all comments. I always hear. It seems to have been a wolf, Evidence points towards a wolf. I never hear the words it was definatly a wolf and we have proof and I was already tired of bickering between nature lovers and farmers as well as hunters a long time ago in Canada and U.S. Its always the same with man no matter what the group, organization or intereast. People can not work together which makes them all losers. There is much to learn by man from the societal family structure and integration of the pack. And wolves are not weaselles. They do not vicously kill for instance 15 animals. They kil one eat all they can. Hide it and tten go to the young to the regurgitate food for them. A lone wolf can eat up to 45 pounds in a stting and go up to three months without food so he would no need to keep killing. The first article clearly states and gives evidence that they would only kill a farm animal if there were no other food. Listen to the lady that keeps saying the use of proper dogs is a sufficent deterent. Thank you and good day to all.!
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