“Up to 15 deer killed by wolves at animal park”

Up to 15 deer were bitten to death at the Hengelhoef animal park.  The attack is being attributed to one or more wolves.

The bodies of ten deer were recovered from the deer meadow at Hengelhoef in Houthalen Helchteren (Limburg) at the weekend, but the mayor believes up to 15 animals perished: all the victims of one or more wolves.

The way the animals were bitten has been investigated.  Experts come to the conclusion the animals were bitten to death by wolves.  The fence around the meadow certainly was not wolf-proof.

“The meadow is fenced off but the wolf crawled under the fencing” says Mayor Yzermans.

Surviving deer are being collected in a smaller area with a fence that is being made wolf-proof.  Flanders wolf fencing team attended the scene.  Special fences are being erected to protect the animals against any further attacks.

“It’s very sad this happens” says the mayor “especially after the other attacks in recent weeks.  We need to look into how meadows like these can be better protected.

The vet of the Flemish Nature and Forestry Agency also attended the scene to take DNA samples to make sure this is really a wolf attack.

Wolf expert Jan Loos confirms that wolves do make more victims than necessary when they have the opportunity.  “It’s called surplus killing.  If the wolf has an easy time killing, it will collect more prey with the intention of returning in following days.”

Wolves have been sighted in the area for four years now.  Loos says it’s weird the park management didn’t make an investment in elementary protection against such attacks: “Electric fencing could have prevented this attack” he says.

Some viewers may find our pictures distressing.

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