If the wolf leaves the pack and has to provide food himself, there is a chance that the animal will turn to people again, experts tell NU.nl. The young leave the herd this year or next year.
There is no room for an extra pack at De Hoge Veluwe, so the young wolves that leave the pack must leave the park. The question is whether it will succeed, because De Hoge Veluwe is hermetically sealed off with high fences. The ecoducts – places where wild animals can normally cross to move to another area – have also been closed off by De Hoge Veluwe.
“I am quite sure that the fence at De Hoge Veluwe is less closed than the management of the park leads us to believe,” says wolf expert Leo Linnartz from ARK Nature Development.
Glenn Lelieveld from Wolven in the Netherlands agrees. “There are all sorts of standards for wolf-resistant measures and the fencing around De Hoge Veluwe doesn’t meet them. It’s possible that they can dig very quickly or that they can still climb over it. So we’re not sure if the wolves are locked in.”
Wandering wolves are less likely to hunt game
If the young wolves fail to break through the enclosure, they must fight their parents. When there is a lack of habitat, wolves fight each other. “The parents win,” Lelieveld says resolutely. “They have a lot more experience. But I don’t know of a single documented case of young people starting to fight with their parents.”
If a young wolf starts looking for its own territory, the animal must look for food itself. A new situation, because before that time the parents provided food. A sheep can be an easy snack, because where in such an unknown area do deer live?
Only when a wolf has found its own habitat does the animal focus more on game. “A wolf then gets to know the area and therefore knows where the deer are. The learning process of how to hunt can be refined quite quickly. Wolves are completely dependent on it,” explains Lelieveld.
“If this wolf (which came to people, ed.) is wandering and is hungry, it does not help that the animal has previously learned that people can feed,” says Lelieveld. He does not rule out the wolf returning to its old habit of associating humans with food. Linnartz also believes there is a chance.
According to Lelieveld, the surrounding countries are watching the situation with excitement, because the wolf can also move there.
Meeste wolven leven op de Veluwe
- In Nederland hebben vier wolvenroedels nu een eigen leefgebied.
- Daarnaast lopen er ook meerdere zwervende wolven door ons land. Die zijn op zoek naar een eigen territorium. Die dieren vestigen zich lang niet allemaal in Nederland.
- Drie roedels bevinden zich op de Veluwe. Eén op de Noord-Veluwe, één op de Midden-Veluwe en dus één op park De Hoge Veluwe.
Hoge Veluwe did not have the wild wolf equipped with a transmitter
When the province of Gelderland wanted to chase the wolf away with a paintball gun, the Mammal Association and Natuurmonumenten called for the wolf to be equipped with a transmitter. The province then ignored that advice because De Hoge Veluwe did not grant permission.
Linnartz had also thought that it would be wise if the wolf had been given a transmitter. “How do you know which wolf is misbehaving? Then you have to get DNA from the animal first, and that’s not that easy. It would have made it much more controllable if you had put a transmitter on the animal. Then you would has exactly the one to check ins and outs.”
But De Hoge Veluwe did not give permission for this. The management of the park is fiercely opposed to the wolf and would rather lose the animals than get rich. The park is afraid that the wolf will wipe out the mouflon (a type of sheep) that was once released. It almost happened.
Lelieveld advocates trying to give the wolf a transmitter after all. “From a social perspective, I think it is desirable that this wolf can be properly tracked as soon as the animal starts to roam.”
NU.nl has asked De Hoge Veluwe for an explanation, but no one from the park was able to respond.