Paintballs to be shot at Dutch wolves in bid to make them less tame
Wolves in parts of the Netherlands can be shot with paintballs in a bid to make them less tame, authorities say.
There are fears that wolves are becoming so unafraid of humans that they could become a serious danger.
The decision by the provincial government in Arnhem comes after a video posted on social media shows a wolf strolling past a family in the region's Hoge Veluwe national park.
Paintballs have been chosen so that rangers can see which have been hit.
It is hoped that it will also encourage wolves to stay at least 30m (100ft) away from people.
De @faunabeschermin heeft aangifte gedaan tegen directie @HogeVeluwe wegens het verzaken van haar zorgplicht jegens de onder haar verantwoordelijkheid vallende wolven. Nergens werden wolven zo tam zonder bijvoeren @Meldpunt144 @POL_Gelderland 🐺📯 pic.twitter.com/UX2LOHVvKw— DFB Gelderland (@fb_provGLD) October 26, 2022
A spokesperson for the province told DutchNews that one of the wolves in particular appeared to be looking for people.
Environmental organisation Faunabescherming has accused park officials of feeding the wolves because if they become too tame they can be classed as "problem animals" and culled.
DutchNews reported that the park's owner, Seger Emmanuel baron van Voorst tot Voorst, denies the allegation but has previously said that wolves have no place in the Netherlands.
According to a report published in June there are around 20 adult wolves living in the country.
The announcement from the local government does not mean that anyone with a paintball gun can head to the park and start firing at wolves. No date has yet been given for when the measure will start and it will be carried out by people authorised to do so.