Several herds of sheep were attacked by wolves in early February in pastures that are only a few kilometers apart.
The first results of a DNA analysis shows that five sheep in the village of Marcourt and two in the village of Hampteau were killed by a “wolf of German-Polish lineage,” according to a press release from the Wallonia Department of Public Service.
Two sheep were also killed in the village of Ochamps earlier in the month, also in the Luxembourg province, but the DNA results from that attack can’t confirm for sure that a wolf was the culprit.
The Walloon Wolf Network, which collects data regarding the return of wolves to the region in the interest of the conservation of the species, examined both scenes for evidence left by the predator.
Owners of the sheep were informed of the results of the investigation and are entitled to compensation under certain conditions.
Fatal wolf attacks against sheep remain uncommon.
“Since 2017, in Wallonia, out of 183 animals fatally attacked, only 23 have been attributed with certainty to the wolf while 80 have been victims of dogs,” said the press release.
The wolf disappeared from Wallonia at the end of the 19th century, according to the Belgian Wolf Network (Réseau Loup), who says the animal is currently in a phase of natural expansion in Europe, taking advantage of its status as a protected species to colonize its former territories.
The organisation was set up in 2016 to rigorously analyse and study the return of the species.