Wild animal protection group Faunabescherming has made a formal complaint about a man who called in the police after claiming he was attacked by a wolf in Drenthe at the weekend. The animal was shot dead after the local mayor gave the green light.
Faunabescherming, which campaigns for wild animals to be left in peace and opposes hunting, said on its website the mayor “did not have the right” to order the wolf to be shot. The man, who keeps sheep as a hobby, said the wolf was attacking his animals.
“If you are stupid enough to attack a wolf with a pitchfork and a spade, then you can expect the animal to feel threatened and to attack,” the organisation said.
The man, from the village of Wapse in Drenthe, was allowed home after treatment for a bite wound to his arm.
As yet, it is unclear exactly what happened. According to broadcaster NOS, the man noticed several of his sheep had been bitten to death by the wolf. Other reports do not say any animals were killed but do say the man and his son chased the animal after it attacked several sheep in the early hours of the morning.
The wolf was later found hiding under solar panels in a nearby field where it was shot dead by police.
“Protocol, which states you first need to establish if a wolf attacked a human and should be shot if it did, was not followed,” Faunabescherming said. “The mayor did not have the right to give the order to shoot the wolf and the police should have verified everything before shooting.”
The mayor, Rikus Jager, told news agency ANP he had no option but to act. “We tried to phone an expert but it was too early to reach anyone,” he said.
Wild wolves returned to the Netherlands in 2018 and there have been no cases of wolves attacking humans since then. One has been filmed close to humans in the Veluwe national park and there have been dozens of cases of wolves attacking sheep and other livestock, leading farmers to call for the right to kill the animals.
Current regulations state that a wolf can be culled if it is classed as a problem animal, which could be the case if a wolf is approaching humans.
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