Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Germany Welcomes the Return of the Wolf?

What with the three little pigs and Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf has had a lot of bad press over the years. But according to biologists, the wolf (Canis Lupis) is a shy creature, who's first reaction when faced with a human is to run away rather than attack. Like so many wild animals, wolves have struggles to shed a reputation forged by centuries of folklore and stories that casts them as sinister and ruthless killers. This has made them the target for hunters.

Wolves were hunted to extinction in Germany in the 20th century. However, studies suggest that wolves are moving from the forests along the Polish border into Germany. Environmental groups are excited, but the return of the wolf has led to tensions between conservationists and farmers and hunters. 

Recently, hikers discovered the cadaver of a wolf that was ruthlessly killed. Killing wolves is illegal in Germany because it's a protected species. Nevertheless, wolf killing is not uncommon since farmers are worried that wolves will eat their livestock, and parents concerned that wolves will attack their children.

Studies have found that wolves largely feed on animals they find in the wild, and not on livestock such as sheep. As for wolves killing children, it's a myth perpetuated by fairy tales. 

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