At least 32 animals have been killed by wolves in Drenthe in September alone, according to figures from agency BIJ12, which handles requests for compensation in case of wolf attacks.
The numbers were significantly lower in Friesland with six fatal attacks attributed to wolves, Brabant with five and Limburg with one.
One sheep farmer in Stuifzand lost eight sheep during a single attack at the end of the month. Apart from sheep, a calf, two cows and two yearlings were also killed by wolves in Drenthe, local broadcaster RTV Drenthe said.
Wolf experts have said the number of attacks in Drenthe may have been caused by young migrating wolves from Germany looking to establish a territory of their own.
The Drenthe provincial authorities have said they will investigate ways to manage the number of wolves in the province. ‘We must make clear that Drenthe is completely different from Gelderland. The Veluwe is one big uninterrupted nature reserve. We are much more likely to experience problems caused by wolves,’ provincial deputy Henk Jumelet told the broadcaster.
The province will also look into legal possibilities to get rid of the wolves. Those will not include culling because the wolf has protected status. Chasing the wolves from the area or transporting them to Poland, could be among the solutions, Vorenkamp said.
Wolves have been slowly returning to the Netherlands after an absence of 200 years. At least 16 cubs were born this year, 13 of which in the Veluwe healthland region, including the Veluwe park nature reserve, bringing the number of packs to four.
Protests against the presence of the wolf has been increasing, particularly in Drenthe, where sheep farmers are also complaining about the time it takes to get compensation.
The Platform Wolven in Nederland said it appreciated that the situation for sheep farmers in the province is ‘complicated’.
‘We as a society have to get used to the wolf. We no longer know what measures to take now that they are back,’ a spokesman for the platform told the broadcaster.
Apart from fencing to keep out the wolves, another solution could be to provide more prey for the wolves in Drenthe. ‘The Veluwe has deer and wild boars which make up a varied diet for the animals. It could help to introduce boar in the area but that is a political choice,’ the spokesman said.
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