A wolf was found dead along a motorway in northeastern Belgium on Friday, a nature organisation reported, saying it was likely that it was one of four pups born this spring.
Flemish nature organisation Welkom Wolf said that an alert call early on Friday confirmed that one of their fears had become a reality.
“What Welkom Wolf feared became a reality last night: early this morning, Welkom Wolf received a call about a dead wolf on the N74 [motorway] near Hechtel-Eksel [in Limburg],” the organisation wrote online. “Chances are it is one of Noëlla and August’s cubs.”
Wolves Noëlla and August brought joy to nature conservationist in Belgium this spring with news that they were expecting wolf pups.
News of the cubs’ arrival was warmly welcomed by wolf enthusiasts as it followed the as-yet-unresolved poaching of Naya, the first wolf sighted in Belgium in centuries, whose pups are presumed to have starved to death or also killed by hunters.
Noëlla gave birth to a healthy litter of four pups, out of which three were recently filmed playing with a nature webcam, sparking concerns over the whereabouts of the fourth pup.
Nature organisation Landschap vzw posted a graphic image of the dead wolf online and on its social media channel and said it was high time for authorities to build infrastructure to protect animals in the vicinity of motorways, saying the most common crossings used by Belgian fauna were “well known.”