Harmless or vicious hunter? The uneasy return of Europe’s wolves

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To some it is a roe deer that eats meat: an adaptable animal capable of living peaceably alongside humans. To others it is a demonic killing machine that ruins farmers – and whose presence is a symbol of the city’s contempt for rural life.

The wolf is on the rise in Europe. This winter it finally reconquered Belgium, the last mainland European country from which it had been absent after decades of persecution.

After crossing the Alps from Italy to France in 1992 and from Poland into Germany at the turn of this century, the wolf has slipped into densely populated territory where people have no memory of living alongside it. Experts say Germany’s wolf population is growing “exponentially”– and spreading, into Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Denmark, which discovered its first wolf pack for 200 years last spring.<<<Read More>>>