It is now official: the wolf has returned to Belgium for the first time in 118 years. According to the Flemish organisation Landschap, the she-wolf known as “Naya”, has been in Belgium since 11 January, after crossing the border from Germany.
However, there is no need to panic and stop enjoying walks in our forests. Wolves are afraid of humans and tend to avoid them. Encounters between humans and wolves have been known, but they are very rare. Most of the time, the animal flees when it sees humans. But it may also be inquisitive and watch them for a while before moving away.
The return of the wolf to regions that it had abandoned for many years, is often accompanied by a fear among animal breeders and shepherds for their flocks. Wallonia has prepared a compensation system to cover any such damages. It also recalls that the species is now protected and that it is forbidden to kill any of its members. “Réseau Loup” partners invite anyone who may have seen a wolf directly or who has reliable evidence of its presence, such as the remains of prey or prints, to report the events on their website www.reseauloup.be.