Hunting banned in Belgian military domain to protect pair of wolves

Hunting banned in Belgian military domain to protect pair of wolves
Credit: INBO - Instituut Natuur- en Bosonderzoek

A hunting ban has been implemented in a military zone in Limburg in order to protect a pair of wolves who nature organisations say chose the area to settle and nest in.

Officials managing the military domain located in the north of Limburg have withdrawn a hunting authorisation in order to protect wolves August and Noëlla, recently seen in the area, a nature association said.

Spotted around the holiday period in December, nature associations said Noëlla had "definitely" entered the territory of August, a male wolf often spotted in the Flemish woods, sparking speculation that the pair would mate.

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The decision to implement a hunting ban comes after the controversial death of Naya, another female wolf, and her cubs, who are presumed to have been killed by poachers.

The Agency for Nature and Forests (ANB) also said that hunting trips previously approved by ministerial authorities in the area had also been revoked, HLN reports.

"Three planned hunting trips have been cancelled at our requests," ANB director Dries Gorissen said, adding that agency staff was being assisted by the military for inspections carried out in the area.

The presumed killers of Naya and her cubs are still wanted in Flanders, with nature associations, as well as an anonymous businessman, offering €30,000 reward for useful tips and information.

The ban also coincides with news that Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir will work with nature and environment associations to build up a strategic plan to protect wolves in Flanders, which she referred to as a "collective responsibility."

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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