Pregnant wolf killed crossing the road near Veluwe national park

A gray wolf. Photo:
A gray wolf. Photo:

A female wolf, thought to be the solitary animal spotted around the Veluwe national park area for several years, has been killed by a car, officials said on Saturday.

The wolf had recently found a mate and was pregnant, wardens said. She was hit by a car while crossing a provincial road near Ede.

The body will undergo a post mortem at the Dutch Wildlife Health Centre which is attached to Utrecht University.

The wolf had been digging burrows for her future young and ‘everything has now been ruined,’ ranger and wolf expert Frank Theuissen told the Gelderlander newspaper. ‘There will be no young and the male wolf will leave the area.’

The wolf must have been in a panic to try to cross a busy road in daytime, he said. ‘Wolves are intelligent animals,’ he said. ‘They don’t just act like this.’

Several wolfs have been killed on the roads in the Netherlands since 2018, when the first are known to have permanently settled here after a 150 year absence.

In January wildlife monitoring organisation Zoogdierenvereniging released footage showing that of the nine cubs to a wolf couple in the in 2019 and 2020 seven are still alive.  One of the that family was killed by a car last year.

Wolves have protected status in the Netherlands but despite measures to compensate farmers for the loss of animals, their return remains controversial.

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