9 – 08 - 2012
Source: Passauer Neuwe Presse
European wildlife is doing well. Among species like wolves, bears and golden Jackals, European Elk (Alces alces) is slowly recolonizing its former range. Recently a small population of at least ten animals colonized the Bavarian Forest. Now the German hunter Joseph Knobling managed to take the first photo of this new population.
When thinking about elk, normally the Northern countries like Finland, Sweden, Norway or Russia are toughed of. Originally its range was far wider. Elk used to range all across central Europe, form the Danube Delta all the way towards France, only being absent South of the Pyrenees, Alps and within the Balkans. From an old hunting license we know that elk survived within the Netherlands at least till 1025 AC. But over the course of time human slowly pushed the elk into the least accesilbe areas, within Northern Europe.
It is not the First time elk emerge in Germany. Before animals showed up along the German Polish border and a few years ago, one individual managed to reach Hessen, which is more on the western side of the country, only 200 km from the Netherlands. Poland also has a growing population. The animals in the Bavarian Forest are believed to come from the Czech Republic.