Wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus
as Endangered and Vulnerable by I.U.C.N the World
Conservation Union and is the subject of special protection measures.
Part of this includes a European-wide captive breeding effort co-ordinated
by Frankfurt Zoo.
years ago Maned wolves were difficult to establish and maintain
in captivity. Many imported, wild-caught specimens died of a kidney
disorder. Today, every animal in European zoos is captive bred and
numbers are increasing at a steady rate.
two animals were born at Prague Zoo and Amsterdam Zoo, and have
been brought together at the instigation of the international studbook
to introduce new " blood lines " and maximise genetic variation
in the existing UK gene pool.
Friday, 4th December 1998, our remaining Maned Wold died suddenly.
Although we didn't witness his death, just finding him lying in
the paddock on Saturday morning, he had seemed in perfect health,
eating well, moving about, and barking loudly.
initial Post Mortem at Glasgow University Veterinary Hospital Post
Mortem Department found nothing." He was a perfectly healthy
adult Maned Wolf in good condition. "
later that week on opening the skull, a violent haemmorage was discovered,
" affecting the spinal cord as far down as cervical vertebra
6 " according to Dr Pamela Johnstone. In other words "
a stroke ",something which can strike man or beast anywhere,
at any time, unfortunately.
the death of this creature, we are left without any wolves currently,
the other animal having been transferred out of the Zoopark some
paddock at Glasgow ZooPark had been developed to provide the Maned
wolves with both areas of open grass & with plenty of cover.
Living with Wolves
the mountains of south east France wolves are now the problem in
an area which has been recolonised by lynx.
Conservationists claim they are spreading across the border from
But shepherd Jean-Pierre Jouffrey, who has lost 100 sheep during
the summer of 1998, claims the wolves or wolf-type animals are being
deliberately released from vehicles.
Shepherds don't mind lynx or wolves, provided they don't attack
their livestock. Those that do must be shot.
French shepherds were told to learn to live with the wolves.
Francois Mouton, secretary of the Society for the Protection of
Animals in Grenoble, said: " It's part of French culture to
live with wolves. "
The one good thing about wolves is that, generally, they don't kill
humans,and livestock losses can be compensated for. But that is
of little consolation to a pet owner or shepherd who has lost animals.
In the United States, where the number of wolves is increasing dramatically,the
same complaints are being strenuously voiced.
In the UK, the Dangerous Dogs Act has posed problems. People argued
that because their pit bull terriers were not 100% pure, they were
out with the provisions of the Act.
Similar arguments have been tried with wolves and wolf-dog hybrids,
although a judge in an English court recently treated a hybrid as
There are lots of these animals around and some people might think
of releasing them.
A World Health Organisation paper on the wolves in eastern Europe
and Turkey stated that many of the half-wild dogs in country areas
carry wolf genes.
Within five years of one wolf wandering into a district, there would
be significant numbers of apparently pure-bred wolves.
They were created by the wolf breeding with the local dog crosses
and causing wolf genes to quickly rise to the surface so that the
resultant animals were almost pure-bred wolves.
European Wolf Reintroduction Problems
enthusiasts suggesting that wolves should be reintroduced to Scotland
might like to know that the French Government have finally decided
to take steps to help the cantons which are being invaded by wolves
from Italy. The wolves have been killing sheep and have even been
threatening some shepherds in the high summer pastures of the Alps.
So the proposed solution is a return to the past, with the government
going 50-50 on the cost of training traditional breeds of sheep
guarding dogs, like Pyrenean Mountain dogs and the Italian Maremma.
But some shepherds want tougher action and are terrified every time
they start shining a torch round their huddled flock in the middle
of the night - only to see eight pairs of large yellow eyes staring
back at them.
of Reintroducing Wolves
of wolves into Scotland is a controversial subject. Conservationists
in general are in favour. Landowners and stock farmers usually are
is a complex subject, but wolves and bears once roamed Scotland
in significant numbers, but the last wolf was eradicated in the
mid-17th century. But in France, wolves are back on the prowl. "Italian"
wolves have spread across the border into south-eastern France along
the valleys and forests near Grenoble. Shepherds are compensated
for any kills of their sheep, which is not really the point so far
as they are concerned. "Why should we have to suffer this?"
they ask. "You cannot compensate for the loss of breeding sheep,
only for its value as a dead carcass."
Government's reply is that wolves and wild bears are part of the
tradition of France and country dwellers have to relearn the shepherding
practices of the past. I have studied this myself and have come
to the conclusion it is nowhere near as straightforward as some
try to make out.
the Pyrenees, up until quite recently two types of dogs were used.
guarding type are epitomised by the French Pyrenean Mountain Dog
or Patous, while a similar dog in Italy is the Maremma.
are reared with lambs, so they "imprint" on them. What I
didn't appreciate was the sophisticated training all the dogs received.
sheep are herded at night in the high fenceless valleys by a smaller
breed, the Labrit. This resembles a smaller, pointed-faced version
of our bearded collie. Further out, sitting on some hillock would
be one to three Pyrenean Mountain Dogs scanning the locale for signs
only are these dogs highly-aggressive in defence of their sheep,
in the past they were nearly always fitted with broad collars, bristling
with vicious spikes.
if bears were a serious threat, the dogs often had back and flank
protection of a sort of spike-covered chainmail. The most bizarre
sight of all in the past was of shepherds mounted on stilts so they
could more easily get early warning of the approach of marauding
bears or wolves.
Urged on Reintroduction of Wolves to the UK
have been calls for the introduction of wolves back into the wild
in Britain. Derek Gow, a former warden at Palacerigg Country Park
in Cumbernauld and now the manager of Wildwood Discovery Park, near
Canterbury, in Kent, is on record as saying he would like to see wolves
roaming the wilder areas of Scotland once more.
people should not lose sight of the fact that it took at least 2000
years of relentless persecution to eliminate wolves from England
and Scotland with good justification.
the United States of America and continental Europe the efforts
to reintroduce this predator have been dogged with controversy.
Domestic livestock and many pet dogs have fallen victim to the wolves.
should study the severe messages from abroad before inflicting such
a predator on people in country areas who are already struggling
to make a living.
History of Wolves
in Scotland 2