A young wolf has been sighted walking along the streets in two towns in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. An expert says its presence in an urban setting is “exceptional”. The animal does not pose any danger to the public.
The young wolf was seen in Bulle on Sunday and in Broc on Tuesday, the free newspaper 20 Minutes has revealed. Two readers sent in pictures of the animal in Bulle, in the heart of the Gruyère region, with one also taking a video. A wildlife warden took photos and a film of the animal in Broc, which is known as the home of Cailler chocolate.
“It’s exceptional, perhaps even a premiere for Switzerland,” Elias Pesenti, a scientific collaborator at the Fribourg cantonal flora and fauna service, told 20 Minutes.
The wolf is less than a year old, he added to the Swiss news agency. Specialists are looking for the animal’s droppings and hairs to be able to identify it genetically, he added.
Generally wild animals only move due to the dispersion of their habitat, the expert said. It’s currently breeding time for wolves. The wolf seen in the canton Fribourg towns has probably left its pack in search of new territory.
The animal generally shies away from humans, and is sometimes able to smell them from hundreds of metres away. If you meet a wolf, it is likely to run away first. You must simple remain calm and leave it alone, Pesenti said.
The video shows that the animal is stressed. It is probably not likely to return, Pesenti added. It is not known where the animal is now. A wolf can cover up to 20 kilometres a day and so could already be moving towards a neighbouring canton, he explained.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/ilj