Two centuries after wolves were hunted to extinction in Netherlands, the animal is officially back after cubs were born in the wild, according to conservationists Thursday.
In a video posted online by the province of Gelderland, three young wolves were seen in a forest clearing. They added that there might be two other pups, but the province chose not to disclose the animals’ location, noting that they do not want people to disturb the animals.
“It’s fantastic news,” Michiel van der Weide, a wolf expert for nature protection organization Natuurmonumenten, said. He added that wolf watchers in the country had been awaiting the birth of the first litter of pups after sightings of wolves in the country.
Van der Weide said the wolves pose no threat to humans. Meanwhile local authorities are working with the farmers to protect their livestock from the wolves.
According to the official German figures, about 75 wolf packs, 30 breeding pairs, and three lone wolves in the country last year. The wolves originally came from eastern Germany, according to DNA tests.
Wolves were a source of political friction across the border, with the far-right Alternative for Germany party accusing the government of failing to defend the interests of farmers.
Last month, Germany’s cabinet agreed to allow wolves to be killed even if it is unclear which member of the pack killed a farm animal. Their agriculture minister also wanted wolves to be shot as a precautionary measure, but the Environment Ministry opposed.
The parliament could amend the bill, before it is passed.
You can watch the video of the cubs here: Three cubs in Netherlands
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