Wild wolves in crosshairs of German politics

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Environmentalists have celebrated the return of the European grey wolf, a keystone species rooted in German folklore and the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm.

But the animals provoke fear and loathing among sheep farmers, equestrians — and some mainly right-wing politicians, who have seized on the issue in a year with three regional elections in eastern Germany, prime wolf territory.

The anti-wolf lobby points to wolf attacks like one last October when the hunters ripped through a fenced-in herd of sheep and wrought havoc, leaving some 40 bloody carcasses strewn across a field.

Farmers often complain that putting up electric fences and using dogs to guard their flocks is impractical and expensive.<<<Read More>>>