Wild tigers are resurfacing in Kazakhstan after a 70-year absence and it seems Italy may be experiencing something quite similar. Wild wolves, a symbol of the country, are making a comeback in the outskirts of Rome after nearly a century.
“This is the first time in more than 100 years that wolves have been found living near Rome,” [said professor of natural sciences] Alessia De Lorenzis.
“We think they probably arrived here from the area around Lake Bracciano, north of Rome, where wolves have always existed, even when the species was pushed towards extinction,”
Biologists spotted the wild wolves roaming a reserve in Castel di Guido. They are of no apparent threat to livestock, as they survive on a diet of wild boars. Researchers have blamed their initial demise on hunting.
Killing wolves was encouraged in Italy until the 1970s, by which time only 100 or so individuals remained in Italy. But the species was given protected status in 1971 and has since gradually recovered.
There are around 1,500 – 2,000 wolves inhabiting Italy, with others bordering France. French farmers have claimed that the slender beasts have been attacking their sheep. But then again, perhaps it’s time we listen more to the animals’ needs and less to ours. Based on studies of animal extinction or endangerment, we could surmise it isn’t really the animals crying wolf, is it?