Carpathian Wolf reaches the Netherlands

7 - 08 - 2013

On the 4th of July a wolf carcass was found along the road in the Dutch Noord Oost Polder. After thorough investigations by several Dutch and European institutions it turns out to be a wolf originating from Eastern Europe, most likely the Carpathian or Balkan region. At first it was toughed that this animal was laid alongside the road as a practical joke. This is not so. This is the first officially recognized wolf within the Netherland in over 150 years. Research also showed the animal likely lived here for over a longer period of time, in the most crowded country within Europe. Already in 2011 a wolf was probably sighted in the Netherland, at that time no definite proof could be found.

Pure bred

To be sure it was actually a wolf a DNA analyses was preformed. This showed it was a pure bred wolf and not a wolf dog as some might have suggested. Also DNA was compared to German DNA samples. The Dutch wolf was not related to the German wolf population. Also no match could be made with the French, Swiss, Italian or Spanish populations. Best match showed up with Eastern European populations although it’s hard to pin point its exact origin as a lack of clear DNA sample from these areas for comparison. This is most likely somewhere between the Baltic states and the Balkan.

Road kill

The animal clearly showed signs that it was victim of a road kill. The carcass didn’t had the stiffness it should have when it was already dead for several days. Also no signs were found that the carcass had been frozen. Internal injuries showed it was victim of a hard impact. All clearly showing the animals actually died on the spot it was found and that it wasn’t laid there as part of a practical joke.

Fine dinning

In the stomach of the wolf the remains of a beaver were found. Beavers are known to live in the area. In the surroundings feces was found on several spots. Unfortunately no wolf DNA could be retrieved from these droppings. These dropping showed hairs of red deer and fox, species also known within a 50 km radius of the area. The droppings were laid down on tracks and specific spots which might suggest that the wolf was living in the areas for a longer period of time, claiming the area as its territory. If it did so, this was without being noticed even in this crowded part of the Netherlands.