The wolf’s at the door: Killer beasts are roaming into Western Europe for first time in 100 years

In Europe, the wolf is at the top of the predatory chain. It has no enemies except humans. We have not reached the legal limit in wolf numbers which would allow for culling, so the species is, by its nature, destined to spread across the continent.

For many farmers, electric fences are not enough forcing some to pay up to 3,000 Euro for Pyrenean sheepdogs who live among the flock and bark loudly when wolves appear.

But experts say attacks on humans are rare and wolves are generally as scared of people as people are of them.

Scientists attribute the rise of wolves in Western Europe to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 when they were made a protected species.

Traditionally, Europe has nine wolf population zones including Scandinavia, the Baltic states, Poland, Romania, south-eastern France, Italy and the Iberian peninsula in Spain.

The first clue that wolves were breeding in Germany came in 2000 when an infra red camera picked up a male and female caring for a tiny cub for the first time.

Germany’s ’last wolf’ was shot dead in 1904 while Britain has not seen a one on its shores for more than 200 years. Wolves live with their cubs for about two years until their offspring mature enough to move on and form a new pack elsewhere.

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