Friday 19 August 2022

Wolf that roamed Netherlands for two weeks prefers Belgian sheep

A gray wolf. Photo:

A wolf that spent the Christmas period roaming the Netherlands is believed to have killed two sheep shortly after crossing the border into Belgium.

The one-year-old female, named Naya, became the first recorded wolf on Belgian soil for 100 years when she arrived from Limburg on January 3. She had been fitted with a tracking device after being caught as a cub in her native Germany in 2016.

Two sheep that were killed in the Belgian municipality of Meerhout, 30 kilometres from the Dutch border, last week bore bite marks that suggested they had been attacked by a wolf. A third animal was injured. Data from Naya’s tracker shows she was in the area at the time.

Nature organisation Landschap said the incident was ‘a sad precedent, but predictable’ and advised farmers to keep their animals securely sheltered or put up electric fences.

Naya arrived in the Netherlands from Germany on December 18 when she crossed the border near Ommen in Overijssel. For the next two weeks she staked out woodland areas of Drenthe, Overijssel, Brabant, Gelderland and Limburg, spending Christmas Day in Ruurlo in the Achterhoek. After two days in the wetlands of Budel-Dorplein and the Loozerheide in Limburg she crossed into Belgium on January 3.

Landschap said the farmer whose sheep were lost would be compensated by the government.

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