This week, in the municipality of Poperinge in West Flanders, a wolf was seen. A first in the province since no wolf had been observed there in more than 200 years. According to local newspaper Krant van West-Vlaanderen, the animal was spotted by a hunter in a nature reserve in Krombeke, a section of Poperinge. The videos and photos taken by the hunter enabled a researcher from the Flemish Institute for Nature and Forest Research to confirm that it was indeed a wolf.
On the basis of several images, Jan Loos, from the Welkom Wolf information campaign, was able to determine that it was “a young animal that crosses Europe in search of a new territory that may suit him. The wolf should come from France, according to him. The man also believes that the canine will not settle in the Flemish province in the long term. “This is not a suitable area for wolves. These need large spaces and a very wooded environment, which is not found in West Flanders.” The wolf should therefore stay there for a maximum of a few weeks before continuing on its way.
A road he continued to Merkem, near Houthulst, offering a surprise meeting to several friends who were having a drink at the end of the day. “We had just returned from a walk. We were just having a drink in the verandah when suddenly we saw the animal walking in the meadow just opposite. It was around 9:30 p.m., ”says Sigrid at Laatste Nieuws. “At the end of the field, he crossed the intersection of Zuidwallandstraat and Kwakkelstraat. We quickly left. One of us was able to take a picture of it, but since everything happened so quickly, it wasn’t very clear. »
For his part, Jan Loos cannot confirm with certainty that it is indeed the wolf. “The photo is not clear enough to confirm but we can assume that. » Farmers of sheep, goats, alpacas or llamas are asked to put their animals in pens at night to reduce the risk.
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