A fallow deer with its head bitten off has been found in the Dyrehaven forest park north of Copenhagen, prompting a warning from the nature agency Naturstyrelsen that a “dangerous animal” is on the loose and speculation of a wolf in Copenhagen’s back garden.
The news follows numerous documented wolf sightings in Denmark in recent years.
The deer was attacked by a large predator, but in a manner not typical of dogs, according to Naturstyrelsen, so DNA tests have been sent for analysis to determine if it was a wolf. The tests are expected within three days.
Worse than wolves
Hans Henrik Christensen, a forester at Naturstyrelsen in the Capital Region, is doubtful the killing is the work of a wild canine, but urges caution nonetheless. “It’s most likely a very large dog, I can’t imagine that a wolf has made its way into Dyrehaven,” he said.
“But it doesn’t have much consequence in this case because ferocious dogs are much more dangerous than wolves. So people should be cautious no matter what.”
Thomas Secher Jensen, a senior researcher at the Aarhus Museum of Natural History, told TV2 News that he also considers the large dog hypothesis more likely. “It’s not a typical picture for a wolf. They normally eat the guts first and then the best meat around the backbone,” he explained.
“Many large dogs get let out at night, some kill deer, and then the next day are normal affable pooches as ever. It’s because it’s happened in Copenhagen. In deep dark Jutland we see this all the time.”