A gray wolf.


Philippe HUGUEN / AFP

After several attacks on flocks of sheep, since November 13, the prefecture of Charente-Maritime is taking measures.

She published a decree on Friday authorizing lethal shooting in the case of one of the wolves who had escaped three weeks from a refuge in Deux-Sèvres, the authorities showing, however, more optimistic on the capture of another, remained close from its base.

The decree of the prefecture of Charente-Maritime authorizes the authorized agents of the French Biodiversity Office (OFB) to take “the necessary measures to prevent any risk linked to wolf straying [...] including by means of lethal shootings, on the territory of the department ”.

After expertise, it turned out that this wolf has already committed attacks on three separate breeders, with a record of 18 ewes killed, 14 injured, and predations "over a very large area", between Saint-Saturnin du Bois, Marans ( 40 km) and Saint-Jean-de-Liversay.

The situation of the two wolves is "quite different"

On November 13, three young male wolves, aged 2 to 3, escaped from a refuge in Frontenay-Rohan-Rohan, (Deux-Sèvres), bordering Charente-Maritime.

One of the three was found dead five days later on a road, presumably hit by a vehicle.

The other two have since been sought, with a device of snares, photo traps, drones, by OFB agents.

The situation of the two wolves is "quite different", indicated Friday the prefecture of Deux-Sèvres.

One "is fixed around the sanctuary, moves in a small area", has "a different behavior", has consumed bait placed, and "seeks the proximity of his congeners" of the refuge he fled.

"The number one objective remains the capture of the two living animals"

On the other hand, "by its behavior, the wolf currently wandering in Charente-Maritime represents a serious risk for the safety of domestic animals and for the protection of sheep farms", underlined the prefecture of this department.

The prefecture of Deux-Sèvres recalls that "the number one objective remains the capture of two live animals", and lethal shooting "the last step", but that it would take "(this) same type of measure" if the wolf in wandering came to predate in Deux-Sèvres.

In both cases, the authorities point out that the option of firing hypodermic arrows is complex, requiring close proximity to the animal.

They also recall that the decree makes firing “possible” but that it is “triggered according to the situation”.

And that only OFB agents can shoot.

“Everyone, under cover of the prefectural decree, cannot go wolf hunting”.


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