Only Known Wild Female Wolf in Denmark Shot and Killed

A shot taken from a pickup truck may have ended Denmark’s chances to re-establish a wild wolf population.

Wolves have been absent from the forests of Denmark for two centuries. In 2012, naturalists were thrilled to discover four male wolves in the country. And they were even happier when a lone female wolf apparently trekked over 300 miles from Germany and joined the pack.

The possibility of wolf pups and a new generation of wild wolves appeared to finally be in the cards. But that dream died when a man took a shot at the female, who was doing nothing more than crossing an open field.

Two nature photographers who were observing the wolves caught the entire incident on video. Be warned that the footage is graphic:

The shooting took place in Ulfborg, West Jutland, an agricultural area. The wolves had settled there due to the abundance of their natural prey — red and roe deer — are readily available. Unfortunately, they made local sheep farmers nervous.

“From the video recording of the animal behavior, there was absolutely no threat to humans and there was also no indication whatsoever that this animal could become a threat,” Guillaume Chapron, associate professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, told The Guardian.

Chapron attributed the crime to “simple wolf hatred and a belief that humans do not tolerate predators in the landscape.”

According to The Independent, a 2017 study into 65 alleged livestock wolf attacks in Denmark found that only 15 of those attacks could legitimately be blamed on wolves. Dogs and foxes were responsible for the rest. Yet wolf hatred remains steadfast among livestock farmers.

This sentiment persists even though the Danish government funds wolf-proof fencing and compensates farmers for livestock lost to wolf attacks

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Photo credit: Thinkstock

With the video in hand, local authorities found the alleged shooter in due course. They arrested a 66-year-old man on suspicion of illegally shooting the wolf, which is a protected species.

“He denies having killed the wolf, but does not wish to give the police any further information on the case,” a Danish police representative told The Guardian. “We have confiscated the man’s car, from which he allegedly fired his weapon, and a number of hunting weapons on the man’s residence.”

Interestingly, the furor over this event has even caused political ramifications. The incident reportedly occurred on land owned by Steffen Troldtoft, a parliamentary candidate who soon withdrew from the race. Speculation remains that the shooter may be a member of his family.

“I don’t think we have a problem wolf here,” one scientist told IFLScience, “but we certainly have a ‘problem hunter’ and such people need to be stopped.”

Indeed they do. Don’t hate wolves — they’re beautiful, regal animals. More importantly, they’re a necessary part of the ecosystem. Wolves shoulder the blame for more livestock deaths than they are actually responsible for.

To a livestock farmer, a good wolf is a dead wolf — whether there’s proof they’re killing farm animals or not.

That’s not right. Wolf lives matter too.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

88 comments

KimJ ManyIssues
KimJ M4 months ago

tfs

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KimJ ManyIssues
KimJ M4 months ago

tfs

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KimJ ManyIssues
KimJ M4 months ago

Despicable!!

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Mark Donner
Mark Donner5 months ago

Trump is a known mafia connected genocidal killer, but he goes beyond murder. Trump hates animals and wants to destroy our earth's future. Not even ISIS wants that.

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Miles F
Miles Foster5 months ago

It is clear from the video that the wolf was between the naturalists and the shooter, so that there was a possibility that they could have been injured by a stray bullet. Even if the shooter did not know they were there, which seems unlikely, to discharge a rifle in an area such as this where there is a reasonable expectation that humans or livestock may be in the line of fire is reckless and in many jurisdictions would be an offence. The incident is another example of the disregard for life and limb that some exhibit in their zeal to rid the landscape of predators or indeed any animal they regard as merely inconvenient to their own interests.

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Marty Price
Marty P5 months ago

Another reason to go vegan..Put these hateful wildlife killers out of business. Ranchers and farmers think the world revolves around them and the only thing that matters is them making money. They raise animals to be slaughtered and have no problem killing innocent animals just because they happen to hate them. As long as these scumbags are immune from prosecution this unfortunately will never end so it's up to us to stop buying their cruelty.

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David C
David C5 months ago

awful

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara5 months ago

despicable man

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara5 months ago

th

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Veronica Danie
Veronica Danie5 months ago

Thank you so very much.

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