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Wolf suspected of Christmas eve kangaroo attack in the north of Belgium
A wolf is suspected to have killed one domestic kangaroo and injured another during a nocturnal attack over Christmas in the northeast region of Belgium, a wildlife specialist has reported to AFP news agency.
The missing kangaroo was probably dead and “eaten as Christmas dinner” commented Jan Loos, director of the Landschap wildlife centre. The injured kangaroo was bitten on the ear, but in good health, according to the Flemish environmental group expert.
The animals were in the garden of their owners’ home in Balen, Antwerp province, when the attack happened. Loos was called in to investigate on 25 December and was convinced that a wolf was the culprit. “The animal crawled under the fence and took one kangaroo. These are relatively small animals, so that is no problem for a wolf," he told local media.
“I discovered wolf prints, so it’s almost certain that it was a wolf, but we’re not 100% sure which wolf it is,” he said.
Nevertheless, Loos suspects the male wolf called August, who has been roaming Limburg province since mid-2018, crisscrossing the German border.
The latest suspected attack follows a spate of wolf sightings. Another wolf was spotted before Christmas by a jogger in the Oudsbergen neighbourhood of Limburg. The Agency for Nature and Woodlands (ANB) subsequently confirmed that it had found fresh paw prints in the area, close to the territory of wolf August.
Landschap has been tracking the movements of wild wolves since their resurgence in the region. It runs the Welcome Wolf campaign and had reported wolf sightings in Lichtaart and Gierle in Antwerp province last Saturday, where footprints were also found. A farmer in Zoersel found a sheep on Sunday and Monday morning that appeared to have been killed by a wolf.
Usually, wolves hunt and eat wild boars or deer, and sometimes attack cattle for convenience, said Loos.
Farmers had been warned by the government to take measures to protect their livestock from possible wolf attacks.
An information meeting will be held at the end of February for owners of sheep and other animals in the Antwerp Kempen region, to learn how to protect their animals against the wolf. "With electric fencing you can get far," said Loos.
Photo: European grey wolf in natural habitat in the Netherlands, iStock/Getty Images Plus