Man charged with killing one of Denmark’s first wild wolves in 200 years

Police find 'young female' and freshly used cartridge at the scene 

Wolf gets shot on farmland in Denmark

One of the first wild wolves to roam Denmark’s countryside in 200 years has been illegally shot dead.

Two people observing the rare creature filmed it as it walked across an area of farmland in Ulfborg, west Jutland.

In the footage, as it jogged past a parked car on the edge of the field, still some distance away, a person in the vehicle apparently fires a shot and the wolf collapses.

The animal did not die immediately and appeared to be extremely distressed.

The shooter drove away from the scene.

Danish police found a “young female” wolf shot dead, and a freshly used cartridge.

A 66-year-old man from the area was arrested and charged with “several” violations of Denmark’s hunting act.

Investigators seized several firearms and his vehicle from his home near where the shooting took place.

They are now awaiting the results of the technical studies, the force said in a statement.

The man denied shooting the creature.

The shooting reportedly took place on land owned by Steffen Troldtoft, a parliamentary candidate with the pro-business Liberal Alliance party – a member of the tripartite coalition government.

Danish news outlet Altinget alleged that the shooter was a member of Mr Troldtoft’s family.

Mr Troldtoft subsequently said in a statement, that he was withdrawing his candidacy just days before the local elections on 3 May “because of the media storm”.

In a separate interview with the TV2 news channel, he said: “It has turned out that this whole case is being used to beat the Liberal Alliance in the head. And after all, they have a sensible wolf policy that the party is trying to get through.”

The wolf was one of a small group of the animals that have re-established themselves in the region.

Male wolves were first seen in the country back in 2012, but a new female, thought to have travelled more than 300 miles from Germany, joined them last year.

Her appearance created the first viable wolf pack in Denmark since the last wild wolf was killed there in 1813.

Last year a study into alleged wolf attacks on livestock in Denmark found that of the 65 times wolves had been blamed, just 15 were actually carried out by the animals.

The remainder were thought to be by foxes or dogs, the country’s environmental protection agency reported.

The return of wolves to some environments can have highly beneficial results, as seen with the reintroduction of the species to America’s Yellowstone National Park.

In this case, the wolves controlled the population of elk, which had overgrazed the landscape.

As the plants ceased to be eaten, it allowed them to repopulate the park. They then provided shelter and shade that saw a rapid boom in various other species, including beavers, bison, otters, birds, fish and bears.

There are over 12,000 wolves across Europe which largely hunt red and roe deer. Attacks on humans are extremely rare.

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