It started with a Facebook group. Her name is Surselva Wolf, and everything that has to do with the predator has been negotiated there since February 10 this year. Who saw the wolf when and where, what he did where. The virtual group of organic farmers Silvan Darms opened. Everyone should be able to get an idea of "what it means to live with wolves," says the 33-year-old, because information "about our 'roommates'" is often withheld. From the media and the authorities.
Today Surselva Wolf has more than 1000 members, quite a lot for a region with just 21,500 inhabitants. The group has become a real civil movement in the Graubünden Oberland.
If you ask Bauer Darms how he got the idea to get involved on Facebook, he tells how he trudged to his stable on a February morning in Flond, on the southern slope near Ilanz, and discovered pieces of fur on the street and then traces of blood in the snow . When the gamekeeper shows up, it is soon clear that three wolves have killed a deer here. The farmer experiences what other farmers have told him: That the wolf is not shy around humans somewhere in the forest, but is out hunting in the villages.
The Bündner Oberland has been a Swiss wolf hotspot since 2019. Three packs live in the region, and the canton expects another to form "in the foreseeable future". CVP Grand Councilor Kevin Brunold said in the Graubünden parliament last December that his valley was "haunted" by these predators, which sneaked around the villages in winter. "We mountain enthusiasts feel faint," he says, pointing his finger at the lowlands: The people in the city, where practically all "so-called conservationists" lived, would downplay the wolf cracks.
Last year, the wolves in the canton of Graubünden killed a total of 127 farm animals. Most of them, however, were not protected by fences or guard dogs. This year 89 sheep and goats died by the beginning of July - and unlike in 2019, 60 percent of them lived in protected herds.
Carolin Jörger hesitated for a long time to join the Surselva Wolf group. Comments like "abchlöpfa" or "the best solution is still ... shoot, shovel, keep silent" are heroes of the wolf. The 25-year-old farmer's wife, who runs an organic farm in the middle of the Wolf region with her husband in Tersnaus, is convinced that the region must learn to live with the wild predators and some losses. But where is the limit, she wonders: "How many wolves do we have to tolerate?"
At the end of May she had enough. On the local radio station Southeastern Switzerland, she hears how eight sheep in the canton of Valais are reported that were torn by the wolf. The cracks in their own canton were not mentioned at all. Jörger is stunned, as the farmers had learned of several cracks in the days before via the cantonal SMS alarm system.