Dutch nature reserve not allowed to catch or kill the wolves living in it
The management of De Hoge Veluwe National Park is not allowed to catch or kill the wolf pack living in the park. The management requested permission from the province of Gelderland to do so, saying that the wolves are killing all the mouflons in the park. The mouflon herd has halved since the wolves settled in the park, the management claimed.
But Gelderland will not allow the capture or killing of the predators because wolves are a protected species in Europe. The park management will have to find a different solution, the province said.
A pair of wolves settled in the park and had pups. One of those young wolves has become tame and is getting close to people. The province wants to make the animal shy again by shooting with paintballs, but the animal rights organization Faunabescherming is against it. The court in Utrecht will handle the case later on Wednesday.
The park management is against wolves in the park. De Hoge Veluwe closed all fences and game passages around the park when wolves first appeared in the Veluwe in 2019 to keep the predators out. Those gates are still closed, but the wolves found a way around them. According to the park management, the animals were released in the park on purpose. Funabescherming claims the park management then deliberately started feeding the wolves to tame them, so they would become a problem that can be dealt with according to the provinces’ current Wolves Plan.
Gelderland wants more opportunities to deal with problem wolves if necessary. The province has asked Minister Christianne van der Wal to intervene. “Gelderland is concerned about the development of the wolf population given the social unrest,” said the province. “We have to learn to live with the wolf again.”
A new Wolf Plan for all provinces is expected early next year. It will likely also include more measures to manage the wolf in the Netherlands.
Reporting by ANP