German hunters have been given permission to shoot a rogue wolf dead after it killed a little boy’s pet sheep which he had raised since it was a lamb.
The wolf is one of a pack of six that crossed into the country from Denmark, and despite declaring open season for hunters, local farmers say it does not go far enough.
Agrarian interest organisation ‘Landvolk Kreisverband Mittelweser’ has demanded a shooting order for the entire pack.
A spokesperson said: “The pack, which consists of at least six animals, is now hunting livestock of up to 400 kilogrammes (882 lbs).”
According to the organisation, the wolves have even attacked cattle and horses.
They have been backed up by the German NGO ‘Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union’ (NABU) which warned of “significant agricultural damage” if no action was taken to protect grazing sheep in the northernmost German state of Schleswig-Holstein.
A NABU spokesperson said that there is “no realistic alternative” but to slaughter the Danish wolves to prevent them from “further devouring the sheep”.
German authorities however have so far only issued a licence to kill one wolf pack member, identified as’GW924m’, after it reportedly killed ‘Blacky’ owned by an eight-year-old boy from the town of Rethwisch, who raised it since it was a little lamb.
Conservationists first detected the wolf in March 2018 in the Danish town of Ulfborg and identified it as one of eight pups which were forming a new pack.
Two of these wolves, ‘GW924m’ and ‘GW932m’, left the pack and migrated almost 250 miles south into Germany.
According to reports, they have since formed a pack of their own made up of at least six wolves, although the German authorities have only issued a shooting order for ‘GW924m’ at present.
Last July, conservationists managed to link a dead sheep in Schnelsen on the outskirts of Hamburg to wolf ‘GW932m’ after finding its DNA on the carcass.
After an unusually quiet spell for the rest of the summer, wolf ‘GW924m’ was again spotted in the region.
Then several dozen sheep were devoured in towns to the north of Hamburg such as Itzehoe, Pinneberg and Steinburg.
On 26th November last year, a photo trap near Itzehoe managed to snap one of the wolves, thought to be ‘GW924m’, after a dead sheep was found nearby with the wolf’s DNA on it.
Reports said that the Ministry of Environment has given the order to shoot down ‘GW924m’ – with a team of hunters trying to track the animal since 31st January, so far without any luck.
Hunters only have until the end of February to shoot the wolf as the permit will expire by then.