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A Country Struggles with the Return of the Wolf

[large thumbnail url=”a-country-struggles-with-the-return-of-the-wolf” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”09″ day=”23″] [thumbnail icon url=”a-country-struggles-with-the-return-of-the-wolf” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”09″ day=”23″] For a decade now, wolves have been quietly advancing through eastern Germany and may be making inroads across the entire country. But people still haven’t learned to live with the predator. Some glorify the wolves, others demonize them and many are simply afraid.

They are scenes one might normally expect to see in the Serengeti. But Franz Graf von Plettenberg has the privilege of watching them from his elevated hunting stand in the forests of eastern Germany.

In his case, though, it’s a deer (rather than a gnu) that is walking calmly through the heath, even though the evil killer, a wolf (instead of a lion), is within sight, heading for the forest. It’s as though the potential prey can sense that this wolf has already eaten his fill.

Plettenberg, a forest ranger, is responsible for close to 35,000 hectares (86,450 acres) of state-owned forest and open country. His territory also includes a military training area that became famous as the home of Germany’s first wolf pack in 150 years.

Plettenberg likes the wolf, because it helps him deplete game populations, an important service because too many deer damage the forest. They love to eat the shoots of tender young seedlings and peel off the bark of larger trees and shrubs — none of which is good news for someone interested in making money with timber…

Read the entire article on spiegel.de: A Country Struggles with the Return of the Wolf

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