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FR: Wolf seen in northern France for first time in over a century

Most of country’s wild population live in the Alps and South-east

A wolf has been seen in northern France for the first time in a century, according to the French Biodiversity Office.

The lone animal was spotted by a surveillance camera as it wandered through the village of Londinières, situated near the French coast in the department of Seine-Maritime . 

The prefecture said in a statement that experts from the French Biodiversity Office concluded that it was “very probably” a grey wolf, according to The Telegraph. 

Although no wolves remained in France after over-hunting in the 1930s, the animals returned to the country thirty years ago – crossing over from Italy. 

However, none of them has been sighted so far north since the species re-established itself in the country.

It is thought the lone wolf may be a young male in search of a mate. 

Speaking of their movement habits, the Seine-Maritime prefecture said: ”They can cover distances of several hundred kilometres in a few months before settling. 

‘The maximum distance from the place of birth can exceed 1,500 kilometres (1,350 miles),’

There are roughly 530 wolves in France today, mostly living in the Alps and the south-east of the country, according to the ONCFS hunting and wildlife agency.

Wolves are a protected species under the EU’s Bern Convention, but the increase in their numbers has led to protests from farmers, who ask for a large annual cull of wolves. 

Twelve thousand sheep were believed to have been killed by wolves in France in 2017.