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New wolf sightings in Jutland

As origin of first wolf is established, zoologist believes that new one is a young male looking for fresh territory, and a place to possibly start a new pack


Mogens Trolle, a zoologist at Statens Naturhistoriske Museum, said the new pictures taken on December 26 are almost certainly of a wolf (Photo: Alice Durinck)

January 2, 2013
18:25

by Christian Wenande


A month after the dead canine carcass found in northern Jutland was verified as being a wolf, another wolf appears to be on the prowl in the same area.

There have been several reported sightings of a new wolf, as well as pictures taken of the animal which are of far better quality than the ones taken of the wolf in Thy.  Mogens Trolle, a zoologist at the natural history museum, Statens Naturhistoriske Museum, has seen the pictures - taken on December 26 by Alice Durinck and her husband near Lem in west-Jutland - and he is almost certain that it is a wolf.

“The close-up photos of the animal is of considerably better quality than the wolf photos from Thy and it looks a lot like a grey wolf - a relative of the Thy wolf, in other words,” Trolle told Ekstra Bladet tabloid.

Wolves are known to travel long distances in search of food and territory, and Trolle thinks that the newly-spotted wolf is a young male.

“Some of these wolves travel incredible distances, over 1,500 kilometres, in their search," Trolle said. “So a good explanation for this is that the young wolves are coming to Denmark in search of a good place to settle that isn’t occupied by other wolves.”

Experts believe that the wolves are coming to Denmark from Germany, where the wolf population has boomed over the past ten years. Small wolf populations in eastern Germany near the Polish border have increased and pushed the wolf populations further and further west. Now some appear to be heading north into Denmark.

2012 saw the first wolf sighting in Denmark in nearly 200 years, but despite the recent sightings, and the wolves' adaptation to eating deer instead of elk, Trolle doesn’t believe that Denmark will have its first wolf pack in the near future.

“At first it will primarily be young, single wolves coming to Denmark. But if a male meets a female in Denmark or close to the border, then we could have our first pack here. The more individuals that come up here, the higher the chance for a pack,” Trolle said.

New information has also come in from Germany about the wolf that was found dead in Thy in November. A Frankfurt-based research team have helped Aarhus University verify that the dead wolf was four years old and had travelled nearly 900 kilometres from where it was born near the German-Polish border.

“It’s unique to be able to prove with great certainty that the wolf stems from the Milkeler pack, in the Lausitz region in Sachsen, Germany,” Liselotte Wesley Andersen, a head researcher at Aarhus University, told Politiken newspaper. “Usually, we have little knowledge on where wild animals come from, unless they are marked or tagged.”



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