Quantcast

First Wolf Sighted in Belgium in 100 Years Was Likely Shot With Her Cubs

Animals

Naya made wildlife history when she became the first wolf to be spotted in Belgium for more than 100 years in January 2018.

But the wolf, who was carrying cubs, has not been seen since May. Belgium's Nature and Forest Agency (ANB) says it is "virtually certain" she has been killed, according to The Guardian.


"The death of the wolf and her pups is a shame for Belgium," the Belgian office of WWF said in a statement reported by AFP.

The evidence that Naya was killed illegally by hunters is extensive. For one thing, her mate, August, who joined her in the country in August 2018, is now acting like a lone wolf.

"He hunts less, walks in different directions. It is clear that he no longer has to deal with his partner or his children," Jan Loos of WelkomWolf (Welcome Wolf) told the Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper, as The Telegraph reported.

Furthermore, female wolves do not die in childbirth or move away from a territory after giving birth, Sil Janssen of the Natuurhulpcentrum animal shelter in Oudsbergen, near Naya's Eastern Flemish territory, said. And if she had been hit by a car, it would have been discovered.

"I am 100 percent sure that Naya was shot. It is the only plausible explanation," Janssen told the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper, as The Telegraph reported.

An ANB investigation pointed out that Naya lived in a hard-to-access, off-limits area, which further suggested that the killing was the planned work of professionals.

"It can be assumed that if the wolf was killed. The perpetrators deliberately invaded the den to search for and deliberately kill the wolf with its young," the agency concluded, according to The Brussels Times.

However, hunting groups have pushed back against the accusations.

"This is pure suspicion and an attempt to blacken an entire sector without having the necessary material evidence. Has he seen remains?" Geert Van den Bosch, the director of Flemish hunting association Hubertus Vereniging Vlaanderen, said in response to Janssen's remarks, according to The Telegraph.

The Dutch group Animal Rights is offering €5,000 ($5,500) to anyone who can help solve the mystery.

"The illegal killing of an animal is a crime and must, therefore, be punished severely," the group said in a statement reported by The Brussels Times Tuesday. "It is not possible that hunters place themselves above the law and simply get away with it too."

Wolves once roamed across Western Europe, but were driven away by hunting, urbanization and industrialization, The Telegraph explained. They have begun to make a comeback in recent years. Belgium was the only country that had not reported a wolf sighting before Naya arrived in 2018, after traveling 310 miles in 10 days from Germany through the Netherlands.

In April, ecologists announced that a wolf had officially established herself in the Netherlands for the first time in 140 years.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tinnakorn Jorruang / iStock / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

The budding research on cannabidiol, or CBD, attracts a great deal of interest in the agricultural field.

Read More Show Less
Oksana Khodakovskaia / iStock / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a tree native to China that's prized for its sweet, citrus-like fruit.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new numbers that show vaping-related lung illnesses are continuing to grow across the country, as the number of fatalities has climbed to 33 and hospitalizations have reached 1,479 cases, according to a CDC update.

Read More Show Less
During the summer, the Arctic tundra is usually a thriving habitat for mammals such as the Arctic fox. Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Reports of extreme snowfall in the Arctic might seem encouraging, given that the region is rapidly warming due to human-driven climate change. According to a new study, however, the snow could actually pose a major threat to the normal reproductive cycles of Arctic wildlife.

Read More Show Less
Vegan rice and garbanzo beans meals. Ella Olsson / Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

One common concern about vegan diets is whether they provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Many claim that a whole-food, plant-based diet easily meets all the daily nutrient requirements.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A fracking well looms over a residential area of Liberty, Colorado on Aug. 19. WildEarth Guardians / Flickr

A new multiyear study found that people living or working within 2,000 feet, or nearly half a mile, of a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) drill site may be at a heightened risk of exposure to benzene and other toxic chemicals, according to research released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)

Read More Show Less
Pope Francis flanked by representatives of the Amazon Rainforest's ethnic groups and catholic prelates march in procession during the opening of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region at The Vatican on Oct. 07 in Vatican City, Vatican. Alessandra Benedetti / Corbis News / Getty Images

By Vincent J. Miller

The Catholic Church "hears the cry" of the Amazon and its peoples. That's the message Pope Francis hopes to send at the Synod of the Amazon, a three-week meeting at the Vatican that ends Oct. 27.

Read More Show Less

The crowd appears to attack a protestor in a video shared on Twitter by ITV journalist Mahatir Pasha. VOA News / Youtube screenshot

Some London commuters had a violent reaction Thursday morning when Extinction Rebellion protestors attempted to disrupt train service during rush hour.

Read More Show Less