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On the evening of June 5, 2015, Romain Ferrand, then 16, was on his family’s cattle farm in the Maritime Alps in the south of France. Sitting outside, the young man suddenly heard a commotion erupt from the ordinarily tranquil mountain darkness: Cows mooed loudly in the distance, and the dogs began to bark and growl ferociously. Romain called his brother, Benjamin, and the two set out into the night armed with flashlights and their father’s hunting knife and rifle.

As soon as they arrived at the cattle pen, they saw eyes shining beyond the electric fence. They were the eyes of a predator recently returned to France — the Eurasian wolf. Benjamin went back to the farmhouse for reinforcements, leaving Romain alone with the knife and rifle. Perhaps sensing the teen’s vulnerability, nine wolves leaped from the darkness and surrounded him, snarling and snapping until the terrified young man fired a warning shot, and the pack dispersed into the night.<<<Read More>>>