During the past holiday weeks, forest rangers from different nature organizations have fined tourists who broke rules hoping to see a wolf. "Not hundreds, but dozens," said forest ranger Lennard Jasper of Staatsbosbeheer Wednesday. The nature organizations pay extra attention precisely because of the peace for the wolves.
A wolf pair with five cubs lives in the North Veluwe. According to Jasper, the forest rangers clearly see more interest in that environment, although it is not known exactly where the wolf hole is located.
People were caught in particular in the early morning hours, while forests after sunset and before sunrise were prohibited. Wolf seekers have also been found in resting areas, which are completely forbidden for holidaymakers. A ticket can amount to 85 euros.
"The rules are there for a reason. Wildlife in the woods has the right to rest. We already notice that wildlife is more restless now that there are wolves in their habitat. They are prey for the wolf and they have to get used to that", said Jasper.
Rest is now more difficult to find in the Veluwe than it was years ago. The Veluwe is the most popular holiday region in the Netherlands and attracts millions of visitors every year. Jasper: "It gets busier every year and especially now that the wolf is 'hot'. But the area is not growing. That is why we must prevent disruptions as much as possible."
No more cattle attacked
Since the wolf family is in the North Veluwe, no sheep or other cattle have been attacked in that area. The she-wolf in the Middle Veluwe also leaves cattle alone. The forest rangers do come across prey of prey animals.
As the cubs born in May get older, Jasper thinks the number of hunted prey animals will increase. Young wolves roam away in their second year of life and may then go abroad. The first wolves, for example, also returned to the Netherlands.
See also: For the first time since Wolf returns, cubs have been spotted in the Netherlands