The wolf hunt has so far proved unsuccessful with no trace of the animal since its last kill. 18 officers of the French Government Body for Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS) have been tracking the wolf for the last week. The hunt was disrupted by saboteurs armed with bells and torches early this morning.
Mayors of the ten communities concerned by the wolf have warned locals not to venture into the woods at night – presumably to stop them being shot by one of the hunters. The hunt will continue until Sunday night, suspiciously the same time as polls in the French referendum close. One has to speculate at how much the hunt has cost to date.
There are no recent records of wolf attacks on humans in France. The main risks to walkers are being run over by a 4x4, insect stings and… being shot by hunters.
Yes I have to say I find the hysteria around wolves in France is ridiculous. Coming from North America where wolves, cougars and bears still exist this type of behavior seems very middle ages to me. And as a conservationist I can’t stand the idea of these ‘witch hunts’ around wolves. In Chamonix they allowed live traps to be placed between Argentiere and Chamonix this Spring (currently the permit is no longer posted so hopefully that is the end of it) but I think the danger with these traps being set is more to dogs/domestic animals, mushroom pickers and hikers in the woods (not to mention the fact that there are so few farmers in this valley it is ridiculous to continue to allow the extermination of predatory animals here!). More farmers in Europe need to go back to the days of training herding dogs to protect their flocks and learn to live with the other creatures on this earth.
An update on the Wolf. It appears that a new wolf is at large in the Bornes/Aravis following DNA evidence taken after recent attacks on sheep (the majority of sheep are killed by stray dogs in France). The Chartreuse wolf is no longer being hunted after a decision by the French high court decided that the prefet’s authorization was illegal. The government plans to issue a new authorization shortly.
The new decree has been issued by Nelly Olin, the French environment minister. This authorizes the killing of six wolves in the 9 departments that constitute the French Alps and gives farmers the right to shoot at wolves in self defense.
Denis Grosjean who represents the European Association Against Predators called the measures “derisory”, he has demanded eradication of wolves from France.
Maybe we should eradicate the EAAP instead from France.