Recently, the UK has sighted significantly more hedgehogs, deer and other wildlife due to fewer people and less traffic, giving them the confidence to come closer to our homes. Further afield, whales are also benefiting due to less stress being caused by the low frequency rumbles from shipping.
Furthermore, a lone wolf has been spotted in Normandy for the first time in a century! Wolves were hunted to extinction in France in the 1930s (and in the UK in the late 1700s). They started to reappear in the 1990s, having crossed the Alps from northern Italy, and a population of more than 500 is now concentrated in the south east and east of the country.
Wolf aficionados would like to see them reintroduced to the British Isles. Tony Haighway of Wolf Watch UK, Shaun Ellis of The Wolf and Dog Development Centre in Lostwithiel and Dr Isla Fishburn of Kachina Canine Wellness are amongst them. The Cairngorms National Park in the north east of Scotland seems the obvious place. Critics say, unsurprisingly, that their reintroduction would pose a danger to livestock, ramblers and upset the biosphere. There are humane methods around this problem as Ellis demonstrated whilst living in Poland and the United States. Tourism could actually be encouraged by way of wolf safaris though sightings may be rare as the wolf is generally shy and retiring!
An area of further study and we watch with interest.
In perfect unison – the wolf is truly a pack animal!
Photo by Richard Jarrold © CybernetImages.com