Devon

'Wolf man' Shaun Ellis fears destruction of his 'family'

Shaun Ellis with partner Kim Jennings and two of his wolves
Image caption Mr Ellis says he loves his "gentle" wolves as much as he loves his family

A Devon man fears that failure to gain planning permission for a wolf reserve could mean the death of his pack.

Shaun Ellis set up the Combe Martin centre with seven wolves and seven hybrids (wolf-dog cross) in 2010.

He withdrew his planning application to North Devon District Council after the authority recommended refusal "for a number of reasons".

Mr Ellis said if he could not find a new location or re-home the animals, they would have to be put down.

Planning breach

Mr Ellis said when he first set up the reserve a council enforcement officer visited the site and concluded it did not need planning consent.

But he said after further works were undertaken, the council said planning controls had been breached and he was told to submit a retrospective application.

A report to the planning committee recommended refusal because the site lay within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It also cited noise and traffic issues.

Mr Ellis, who has spent most of his adult life with wolves, said they were "gentle and much misunderstood" animals.

He said: "It's ingrained in us that wolves are bad news - some kind of savage killers, which couldn't be further from the truth. They're gentle creatures I love just as much as I love my family.

"I have to be sympathetic to the council, because there were so many grey areas because the reserve didn't fit into specific categories. But the result is disastrous."

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