Thursday, 19 December 2019
The discovery of several footprints in the Oudsberg nature reserve in Limburg in Flanders reveal that a new wolf has arrived in the area.
A jogger was passing through the nature reserve when they stumbled upon the footprints and informed the Nature and Forest Agency.
The footprints are significantly large in size that it is certain that they do not belong to the only remaining wolf in Flanders, August, explains Het Belang Van Limburg.
“This news is not unexpected,” said Mayor Lode Ceyssens (CD&V) to Het Belang Van Limburg, adding that “the only thing that is currently unclear is whether it is a migrating wold or one that stays.”
The footprints were discovered in close proximity to the known habitat of August the wolf. According to Nature and Forest Agency, if the new wolf is female, she might settle in August’s territory, however, if the new wolf is a male, it might be challenging for him to stay in August’s territory, meaning that it is likely that the new wolf will migrate, HLN explains.
“There are also challenges. Not only for the safety of cattle, for example, but also for people. That is why I demand the alertness of everyone who goes into our forests. Living together with a wolf is a challenge, but we have to take it on,” said Minister of Nature Zuhal Demir.
Geen witte kerst, maar een wolvenkerst. Welkom in Limburg, Noël(la)? pic.twitter.com/dElLqtF1s1
— Zuhal Demir (@Zu_Demir) December 19, 2019
The arrival of the animal in Flanders is not entirely unexpected after a wolf was spotted in the Netherlands on Saturday and a Belgian organisation promoting the rights of wolves confirmed that it was likely “on its way” to Belgium.
Since Naya the wolf died sometime at the end of September, August is the only wolf living in Flanders, with the possible exception of Naya’s cubs who may be alive, but have not been seen for over four months.
The Brussels Times