Story of a wolf hunt

Wolf GW924m has caused quite an uproar in Germany over the last 1.5 years. Little did it know that it would be the most famous German wolf of 2019, when it travelled from Denmark to Germany in summer 2018. Unfortunately, it attracted much attention by depredating sheep more than 60 times in northern Germany. Enough reason for the Ministry of Environment in Schleswig-Holstein to classify GW924m as a ‘problem wolf‘. Thereby the hunt was opened.

Chasing tracks for 10 months

The Ministry of Environment gave a group of hunting experts the task to track down ‘problem wolf’ GW924m for its ‘removal’. After more than 200 years, this wolf would be the first to be officially killed. Conservationists and animal rights activists criticised the decision, yet the hunt continued. In October 2019, after nine months of chasing tracks, the experts even got support from local hunters. After a total of ten months, hunters found its dead body in a forest.

How wolf GW924m died

Early January 2020, hunters found a dead wolf in the German forests near Gifhorn. The state of the body indicated that the wolf had been dead for a while already. DNA analysis confirmed in February that this was the infamous wolf GW924m.

But its death did not result from hunting. Wolf GW924m died in a way that many wolves do in Germany, because of a traffic incident. Signs of internal bleedings indicate that the wolf very likely ran into a car on the road. The hunters found the body three kilometres away from the nearest road.

Expensive unsuccessful hunting

The case of GW924m demonstrates how futile some wolf hunts can be. And this is not the only one. The state of Lower Saxony also issued a permit to kill wolf GW717m more than a year ago. Wolf GW717m killed three cattle earlier. However, after 14 months the Ministry has called off the wolf hunt, being unsuccessful. Early estimations indicate that the wolf hunt has costed the State approximately € 200 000,-. For the time being, the Ministry allows GW717m to live, under the condition that it ‘behaves’ correctly. If the wolf attack livestock again, the Ministry will issue a new permit to kill it. And so the hunt will be open again.

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