A fourth wolf installed in Wallonia?

A flock of sheep was attacked by a large predator in Saint-Hubert; thirteen animals died. Dog or wolf? The identity of the attacker is still unknown. But it could be a wolf. And he could have taken up residence in the area.

Journalist at the service of society

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UHas the fourth wolf settled or is it about to settle in Wallonia near Saint-Hubert? That’s the question experts are asking after a predator attack that claimed the lives of 13 sheep two days ago. A local farmer, whose ewes had just gone out to graze after the weaning of their lambs, found the body of an animal and further searches found 11 slaughtered corpses. The sharp and deep bites suggest the modus operandi of a wolf. Two animals had to be euthanized, others were injured in what looks like what experts call a surplus killing, when a wolf seized with a kind of frenzy kills more beasts than he eats. Some animals have indeed been eaten, others have not.

“It is possible that there were two attacks,” said Vinciane Schokert, biologist at the Walloon administration. As to whether it is the work of a wolf, the expert remains cautious. Everything indicates it, but it will be necessary to wait for the DNA analyzes – of the saliva taken from the corpses – to have the heart net.

Is it a wolf “settled” in the area and that we had not yet spotted? There too, no certainty. We are out of the two traditional seasons that see young adults leave their pack and disperse, but sometimes dispersers move for more than a year before settling.

Until the guilt of the Saint-Hubert wolf is confirmed and we are certain that it has settled there, Wallonia still has three adult wolves settled in the south of the country: Akela and Maxima on the Hautes plateau. Fagnes (with their young wolves born last year and probably a litter born in 2022) and a wolf settled near Bullange. Six to eight dispersants have also been confirmed over the past year (22 since the creation of the Walloon Wolf Network).

The breeders have received assistance from the administration, which provides them with protective equipment. They will also be compensated.

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