Saturday 11 July 2020

Groningen farmer cries wolf, twice, as over 30 sheep are killed in the north

A gray wolf. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Some thirty sheep are thought to have been killed by wolves in the north of the country since March, the Dagblad van het Noorden reports.

Eleven were killed in Groningen over two consecutive nights earlier this week after a sighting of a wolf in Den Ilp, close to Ansum where the dead animals were found.

It has not yet been established if a wolf killed these sheep but according to sheep farmer Lourens Krol a wolf was the likely culprit.

‘It can’t have been a dog. This one went for the throat and the heart. He came twice and they tell me that hardly ever happens? Tonight my sheep will be behind a fence near the house,’ he told the Telegraaf.

Krol, who will be fully compensated for the loss of his animals, says it is impossible to fence off an area of 46 hectares to protect the sheep. ‘I would rather shoot the wolf. It isn’t right to keep having to claim for damages.’ the paper quotes him as saying.

The wolf has been making a comeback in Europe and although wolf monitoring site Wolven in Nederland says there would be room in the Netherlands for about 20 wolf packs, its return has not been welcomed by farmers.

Protected status

The animal, which is not established as yet in this country, has protected status in the EU but according to the Telegraaf pressure on Brussels decision makers is mounting to allow the animals to be shot.

Maurice la Haye of Wolven in Nederland says wolves from Eastern Europe have been making their way to the Netherlands and farmers have to adapt. It is possible to teach wolves to leave sheep alone, La Haye claims, by putting the sheep inside a barn or behind an electrified fence.’

He blames the fact that the alleged wolf came back for seconds on the removal of the cadavers. ‘A wolf can live for a week on one sheep. It’s only natural it came back for more when it found the food gone.’

The first confirmed sighting of a wolf in the Netherlands in 150 years was registered in March 2015 in Drenthe and Groningen when a wolf from Niedersachsen briefly crossed the border. In 2013 a dead wolf was found near Luttelgeest in the Noordoostpolder which turned out to be from Eastern Europe. The animal had been dumped.

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