The Netherlands is now home to nine separate wolf packs, according to provincial wildlife agency BIJ12 which monitors wolf sightings.
Wolves have been slowly returning to the Netherlands after an absence of 200 years and the nine pairs of wolves which have made the Netherlands their home had at least 39 cubs this year.
Seven of the packs are in the Veluwe region, two in Drenthe and two on the border between Drenthe and Friesland. There have also been confirmed sightings in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug region, BIJ12 said.
It is impossible to give an exact total for the number of wolves in the Netherlands and to track them, because this can only be done via dna.
BIJ12 received 65 reports of wolf attacks on livestock between May and August. Of them 41 were confirmed to be the work of wolves and 12 were down to dogs.
Some farmers have called for the right to kill wolves because of the damage to livestock but they remain a protected species. However, the EU is looking again at the issue, particularly in areas where the wolf population is growing.
“The concentration of wolf packs in some European regions has become a real danger for livestock and potentially also for humans,” EU president Ursula von Leyen said earlier this month. “I urge local and national authorities to take action where necessary. Indeed, current EU legislation already enables them to do so.”
The presence of wolves in the Netherlands became even more controversial last year, when a seemingly tame wolf reportedly approached people in the Veluwe national park.
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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