Friday 14 May 2021

Dead wolf was not dumped on roadside, scientists say

The dead wolf found at the side of a road in early July probably came from Eastern Europe and made its own way to the Netherlands, according to researchers.

On Wednesday, scientists from the Leiden natural history museum Naturalis and from Wageningen University published the results of their investigation into the wolf’s origins.

They say there is no evidence the wolf was brought to the Netherlands after being killed elsewhere and dumped as a joke, as some people have claimed.

Pellets

In addition, possible wolf pellets have been found in a wood on the Noordoost polder, close to where the body was found, they said. Eyewitnesses also reported seeing a dog-like animal in the vicinity two weeks prior to the find.

The pellets contained traces of deer and fox. Scientists had said earlier the wolf’s last meal appeared to be a beaver. ‘These are all animals found within 50 kilometres of where the wolf and the pellets were found,’ the researchers said.

The wolf died shortly after suffering extreme trauma to the head, probably from being hit by a car, they said.

Further research is now being carried out to establish exactly where the wolf came from and how it got to the Netherlands.

‘As ecologists, we do not think it odd the wolf came here under its own steam because we know they can walk enormous distances,’ Nos television quoted the researchers as saying. ‘We just cannot prove it conclusively yet.’

The last confirmed sighting of a wolf in the Netherlands was in 1869.

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