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

Half of the extracted resources used were sand, clay, gravel and cement, seen above, for building, along with the other minerals that produce fertilizer. Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Read More

By Gero Rueter

Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that's something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt.

Read More
Sponsored
Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016. Markus Spiske / Unsplash

By George Citroner

  • Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
  • Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
  • Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.

Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

Read More
Water coolers in front of shut-off water fountains at Center School in Stow, MA on Sept. 4, 2019 after elevated levels of PFAS were found in the water. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In a new nationwide assessment of drinking water systems, the Environmental Working Group found that toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS are far more prevalent than previously thought.

Read More
An iguana is seen on a tree branch on November 22, 2019 in Marathon Island, Florida. LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP / Getty Images

An unusual weather report made waves this week as meteorologists warned residents of Florida to be aware of "raining iguanas."

Read More