INBO/Natuur en Bos

“95% chance” that there is a third wolf living in Limburg Province

The not for profit group Landschap (landscape) believes that there is a third wolf living in Limburg Province. Landschap that is behind the Welcome Wolf initiative says that it is 95% certain that there is a third Limburg wolf. The organisation calls on the public to pass on any information it might have concerning possible wolf sightings. It is believed that the third wolf has been living in the area currently inhabited by two other Wolves that have been given the names August and Noëlla for the past year. However, up until now no hard evidence of him or her living there has been found. 

Speaking on VRT Radio 1’s ‘De wereld vandaag’ Jan Loos of Welkom Wolf said that the third wolf had reportedly been seen 15 times over the past few month. However, there is no firm evidence of the animal’s presence as no DNA has been found.

“The problem is that the animal has left behind any DNA. It hasn’t killed any sheep and as long as you have no DNA it is difficult to prove that there is a wolf”, Mr Loos said.

He believes that it is no coincidence that 15 people report having seen the wolf in recent months “15 people can’t all be mistaken”.

The uncertainty will remain as long as there is no DNA evidence. Could the sightings no simply have been Noëlla before she paired up with August?

“Theoretically it’s a possibility that we can’t rule out. However, a wolf invests in its territory, it knows where there are prey and won’t leave its territory for no reason. On the other hand there is the urge to mate which means that you can rule out a wolf going away”. 

Last April wolf excrement was found. However, it was too old to be used to find DNA. "It only proves that there was a wolf, but not which wolf it was”. Jan Loos explained that the only way that we can be 100% certain that there is a third sheep is if it is caught on camera or if, for example, it kills a sheep and leave behind its DNA.

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