DNA tests on the carcasses of lambs reveal that a wolf has been hunting around the forests east of Munich. Local authorities don’t believe the animal poses a threat to humans.
Suspicions were aroused when the lambs’ bodies were found in a field on the last weekend of April in the district of Zorneding, just to the east of Munich.
The local wildlife protection agency carried out tests on the remains and were able to ascertain that the culprit was a wolf originating from eastern Germany or western Poland, where several wolf packs have lived for a number of years, reports the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The “Zornedinger Wolf” is the first one that has been known to reach the outskirts of Bavaria’s state capital.
But wildlife experts have expected this development for several years. Young wolves can run 50 kilometres a day, meaning the distance from east Germany could be covered in less than a week.
But it is unclear whether the wolf will stay in the area.
Heinz Utschig, head of the local forestry commission, told the SZ that the local forest is “like a little park” for a wolf, arguing that the area is too densely inhabited to make it an attractive long-term home for the reclusive creature.
“Wolves look for a space for themselves, but not necessarily one with an S-Bahn connection,” said Utschig.
It is also unlikely that the shy canine will be seen by walkers and local authorities thus have no plans to put up signs informing people of the wolf’s existence, which they say would “only cause panic.”
If the wolf does stay in Zorneding the authorities will have to find a way of accomodating him. In Germany wolves enjoy the highest level of protection and it is strictly forbidden for hunters to shoot them.
“If he feels happy here, the local community will have to think about ways of making him feel welcome,” said Utschig.