Camera footage and photographs have confirmed some 16 wolf cubs were born in the Netherlands this year, bringing the number of packs to four, monitoring organisation BIJ12 has said.
The north of the country, where at least three cubs were born, now has its first pack, the organisation reported. Thirteen more cubs were born across the Veluwe healthland region, including the Veluwe park nature reserve.
‘There may have been more,’ Glenn Lelieveld of the Zoogdierenvereniging told NOS Jeugdjournaal. ‘The cameras that are filming the families may have missed one that went walkabout.’
According to Lelieveld, the new arrivals will not be affecting farmers in the Veluwe area, partly because there is an abundance of deer, boar and rabbits to feed on, and partly because of measures such as electric fences and sheep dogs.
However, in other parts of the country, 407 animals died this year as a result of wolf attacks.
Although Lelieveld said the Veluwe will not be affected by the growing number of wolves, Veluwe park director Seger Emmanuel baron van Voorst to Voorst has been campaigning for a cull.
Two years ago, the director of the park launched a campaign for the removal of the wolf’s protected status so controlled culling would be possible.
Fences were placed around the park in an effort to protect the mouflon sheep population which, park managers have claimed, has almost halved compared to a year ago.
Wolves have been slowly returning to the Netherlands after an absence of 200 years. Their number will only increase, Lelieveld said, also because new wolves are crossing the border with Germany and Belgium.
Lelieveld, who has yet to see a wolf in the wild in the Netherlands, said wolves pose no danger to the public because they are shy and will quickly disappear when encountering a human.
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