In the town of Gedinne, in the province of Namur,Belgium a wolf had been sighted this summer. This was the first time a wolf had been seen in Belgium in more than a century. The last wolf was slain in 1898 in Virton, Belgium.
It happened in July of this year that eight sheep near Gedinne were killed. At first it was suspected that a lynx was responsible for the killings. A television crew from the program, " Animals in trouble " wanted to catch the wild animal in the act so they set up a hidden camera near a sheep that was to serve as prey. A few days later when they returned they were able to see on film how a wolf like creature had eaten the sheep and then dragged it into the woods.
Initially, the television crew doubted whether it was a wolf or a wolf dog that did this. But according to the French wolf expert, Eric Marboutin, there was no doubt that this was a wolf. According to him, the animal had all the typical characteristics of a wolf. He was quoted as saying, "You can see well the typical white mark on his face, which is shaped differently than for example a Husky or a German shepherd dog. His coat is dark gray on the back and brighter on the sides and bottom. His tail is typical wolf short and drooping. This is a wolf. Without a doubt."
Moreover, he said "the animal moved and acted like a wild wolf. He behaves cautiously, uncertain. It took an adult sheep at least 45 to 50 kilograms in its mouth and drags it without any difficulty. This demonstrates great power and strength and that indicates that you are definitely are dealing with the facial and tooth structure of a wolf," Marboutin said. Of course to be really 100 percent sure, a DNA test would have to be performed, but unfortunately no hair or scat was found was found in the area.
According Marboutin this is not the same as a wolf predator that was spotted this month in the Veluwe in the Netherlands. "The Veluwe is at one end of the Ardennes, but this wolf travels up to 40-50 kilometers in a night. Theoretically, therefore if it was the same animal it would do this also. But from the images I've seen, it seemed the wolf in the Netherlands did not do this."
Marboutin suspects that this wolf comes from France, possibly from the Alps or maybe Italy. It has long been known that French wolves are north and the return of the wolf in our region is "very likely", says Marboutin.
The animal has since disappeared and is possibly hundreds of miles away. There has since been no dead sheep found or any other wolves sighted or filmed. Still this does not mean that it wouldn't be possible within five years that the wolves are back in Belgium. "The fact that the wolf shows up in Belgium, would certainly say that such a return to our country is very possible," says Marboutin.