Some incredible news came from Denmark this year! For the first time in 200 years, proof was found that Denmark, once again, has a wild wolf pack! “Big deal,” you might say. Well, yes it is! And, what makes it such a big deal is, according to Peter Sunde, a senior researcher at Aarhus University, Eurasian wolves have essentially been extinct in Denmark since 1750!
Scientists believe that the comeback is due to one single she-wolf traveling from northern Germany to Denmark in 2016, a distance of 341 miles! Sunde said it’s normal for a wolf to travel this distance to breed. The female was caught on camera trap footage in January of this year, creating a lot of excitement among scientists and conservationists.
Wolves became extinct in Denmark due to the same factors that almost caused them to go extinct in the United States. After humans began depleting the wolves’ natural prey, like deer, wolves began feeding on livestock. So, ranchers hunted them until none were left. When wolves became protected in 1992, their numbers began to grow in both Eastern and Western Europe.
Wolves also have made a resurgence in Austria. For the first time since 1882, wolves are once again breeding in the wild. Scientists estimate that over 12,000 wolves are now living in Western, Central and Southern Europe. But, the increase in numbers has also increased concerns among conservationists. Once again, because of ranchers’ concerns for their livestock, some Scandinavian countries are allowing wolves to be hunted.
In 2012, male Eurasian wolves were seen living in Denmark. With the introduction of a female, scientists are hopeful that a larger pack of wolves will make their home in Denmark in the next five years. Scientists will continue to monitor camera footage to see if the female becomes pregnant this year.
Watch the video below that caused all of this excitement!