Sunday, February 17, 2013

Looking for the Wolf..........

It was a dark, gloomy day in February, just after Valentine's Day. If you were up in a jetplane you would not be able to see the earth down there under a thick wet cloud, covering most of the country. What to do? It was tour-day and it was certainly not photo-weather.
There had been much talk lately about the wolf coming back to Denmark after 200 years. A wolf in North Jutland, another one near Ringkøbing and a  third wolf, seen in Mid Jutland. I was enthusiastic about getting a photo of this fine animal. The place where it was seen was not far away. So we went out looking for the wolf. There was not much traffic in the territory, no other wolf-watchers!!  I looked across the fields and ahead of the roads while we were driving until my eyes hurt. The only living creature was a little black cat, hunting in a snowy field. A little tiger..........  



The first Wolf.
In September 2012 a group of birdwatchers were looking for the white-tailed eagle in a nature reserve in Thy, when they suddenly observed a big dog - or was it a wolf? -  in a desolate place in the reserve. Kim Frost from Nykøbing (Mors) took a series of photos which seemed convincing. He was sure it was a wolf. Others were of the opinion that it might as well be a big German shepherd, but everyone awaited eagerly more information about the alleged wolf. And the sensation really happened. The famous animal was found dead in the Hanstholm reserve in November, and the examination and DNA-test proved that it was a wolf  - and that it came from the German wolf population. This was really a Danish sensation. The wolf had come back to Denmark after 199 years! The last wild Danish wolf was shot in 1813.

photo of wolf in Thy

The second Wolf. 

In December 2012 was seen a new wolf in West Jutland by a group of hunters and a police patrol, but they could do nothing but observe the situation, since the wolf is protected. The new observation was just one among many. Several local people reported to have seen a wolf and a lady took a photo from her kitchen window.

photo of second wolf 


How the Wolf comes to Denmark. 
A zoologist, Mogens Trolle, describes why we now begin to see wolves in the Danish nature. The nature of the young wolves make them spread. When they grow up they leave their parents fo find an area where they can make their own territory. Some wolves walk a very long way, up to 1.500 kilometer - and young wolves come to Denmark to find a good place to settle, which is not occupied beforehand. The wolves have spread  west in Germany and live closer and closer to Denmark. During only two generations the wolves have adapted the socalled cultural landscape and replaced their food of red deer with roe deer. The German wolves can easily live in the Danish farm landscape with its multitude of roe deer..
Mogens Trolle does not expect that we shall see pack of wolves in the Danish landscape in the nearest future. Firstly the lone wolf will arrive, but if a male and female meet in Denmark or join close to the border, they will go north together, and then we can get our first wolf couple in Denmark. When they get wolf cubs, it is actually a pack, but a pack of wolves will not walk up here from Germany - the wolves will gradually arrive as individuals, and there is an increasing chance that they then form a family, says Mogens Trolle.


The third Wolf.
Last week  ab. 10 february a lady saw a wolf running across the road in front of her car in a forest near Bryrup in Mid Jutland. She was not in doubt that it was a wolf.

So it was this third wolf we were looking for on this bleak Saturday, driving through the land where the lone wolf was seen, through the dark forests and passing still snow-covered fields. At a place at Torup Lake we saw some tracks which might be wolf tracks but they were not good enough as a proof. Actually the tracks were in a path which goes into a piece of land we know from the summer period, and where almost no one comes in a snowy, frosty winter like this. But the track was not a solid proof.

We did not see the lone wolf. Maybe he saw us.

I would really be happy if I could get a fine photo of a wild wolf, living in nature. The only photo I have is this miserable one from a park at Djursland.   

photo Mid Jutland 16 February 2013: grethe bachmann
photo wolf: 8 March 2008 Djursland.

Sources: Mogens Trolle, wikipedia, Naturstyrelsen, Midtjyllands Avis, local people.

Addition (photo of the third wolf):

 The third wolf  
photo from robotcamera: 

In the days after it showed that the wolf (or maybe there is more than one wolf at Harrild hede) - is too fond of sheep, and there is a problem now which has to be solved. A sheepfarmer has lost 19 sheep - and there is no compensation-rules in Denmark in a situation like this. It has not yet been proved if it is the wolf or dogs gone amok. But it is probably the wolf.


Wanda..... said...

I hope you get that desired photo, Grethe! I feel your excitement and understand it. We have coyotes in our area now and recently a lone black bear was spotted. Even the deer that visit my yard daily weren't here 60 years ago, when I was a young girl and just lived a mile over from our present home.

Teresa Evangeline said...

What wonderfully evocative photos. I love the top road and the photo of the barn with stonework is beautiful! I'm going to make it my screensaver, if that's okay... The wolves have returned here in large numbers but now they are hunting them, which breaks my heart. Lovely post.

Out on the prairie said...

Been close to them, but the population is few in the Midwest.I see more coyotes.

Thyra said...

Hello Wanda, it must be exciting to have many deer near your house. I remember your beautiful photos of them and their "kids".
Me and my friends had actually been talking about "if bears came to Denmark" and I was "against it" (if that helps anything!!) I would certainly not like to meet a bear! 3 meter tall when they stand up and I cannot run from them. And it even does not help if you climb a tree!
You made me interested in the coyotes. I've found a fine blog about a coyote: " The Daily Coyote" with some beautiful photos of a coyote named Charlie.

Grethe ´)

Thyra said...

Wauw Teresa, I'm glad that you can use my photo. I like that farm too with the red paint and the stone wall. We often pass it on our way to Mid Jutland. I have often wondered how the living house looks like behind the barn.

I did not know about screensavers. That's smart. ´)

Yes, it breaks one's heart when we humans treat the animals in a cruel way. I hope that the wolves will not be hunted here. The sheep farmers have said that they will protect the wolf and that they will take it easy if they lose a sheep. But one thing is theory!

I have thought about if the wolf is disturbed when we hunt it with a camera? But it seems that people are generally relaxed about it. They usually don't go out looking for the wolf because it moves in desolate places and that's not where elderly groups in a tourist bus or a family go with their children. Only birdwatchers and hunters - and both groups are familiar with nature and know how to take care. Usually.

Grethe ´)

Thyra said...

Hej Steve, thank you for visiting. Please see what I wrote to Wanda about the blog with a coyote. I have just read about the coyotes on wikipedia. Interesting material.
Have a nice day.
Grethe `)

Kittie Howard said...

Oh, but your photographic hunt for the wolf is like an action book. I feel as though I know the third wolf and imagine him as a handsome guy in search of spring love.

I've never seen a wolf in the wild, only in the zoo.

Thyra said...

Hello Kittie, I have made an addition in the post where you can see a photo of the third wolf. But as you see there is a big problem now and I don't know what they will do to solve it.

The outernest right wing party here in DK wants to fence in the wolf! How will they do this?? the wolves cross the border from Germany - how will they meet them?? Welcome to Denmark. We've got a fence ready here for you!!! It shows how little those people know about nature.

Grethe ´)

Tatiana said...

Beautiful nature shots, so Danish... I like the colors. Is it okay I use Midtjylland 056 for my website background?

Thyra said...

Hej Tatiana, what a beautiful name you have.
Of course you can use that. I'm glad you like the photos.

The wolf-experts have just found out now that there is now a wolf family in Mid Jutland. The wolf-experts can find out via the wolf-howls if there are cubs. They told it just yesterday in the press. The first wolf family in Dk for 200 years. The "wolf-guys" are very excited!! ´)

Have fun!
Grethe ´)

Tatiana said...

Thanks and yuhu, thanks :-)