December 10, 2017

GOING TO THE DOGS:

France caught in war with wolves (AFP, 10 December 2017)

Fear -- as well as fascination -- of wolves has historic roots fed by many children's stories, including famous versions by the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault.

"When Charles Perrault wrote 'Little Red Riding Hood' in 1697, it was during the worst series of attacks by wolves with at least 500 children killed each year," said Jean-Marc Moriceau, an historian of wolves in France.

The grey wolf was wiped out in the country in the 1930s and only returned in 1992 via Italy -- currently home to around 2,000 wolves -- then into Switzerland and Germany.

Since the Bern Convention of 1979, the wolf has gone from public enemy to a protected species as "a fundamental element of our natural European heritage".

In some countries, like Romania and Poland where there have always been wolves, people adapt to treat an attack on sheep "like an accident, like a flock that falls into a ravine", says Farid Benhammou, a specialist on predators.

"But in the new zones of (wolf) colonisation -- in France and in some regions of Italy and Spain -- there are major tensions."

Posted by at December 10, 2017 8:21 AM

  

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