It took nearly two centuries to see the wolf again in the department of Manche! An image captured in recent days by a surveillance camera in the countryside near Saint-Côme-du-Mont (Manche) leaves little room for doubt.
Even the French Office of Biodiversity (OFB), usually very cautious, ensures that it is "most likely a gray wolf", a protected species that had never been observed in the department since... 1833 !
"We have certainly had reports and alerts of injured animals lately. Until then, it was not enough to authenticate the presence of a wolf, explains Guillaume Binet, departmental head of the office. But the physical characteristics revealed by the video images clearly evoke a gray wolf, which may have left its territory to avoid competition from its congeners. He can travel several dozen kilometers in a single night in search of a place where he will find food and a partner. There is therefore no indication that he will remain in the sector. »
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"It's strange to think that he probably doesn't prowl far from home. It awakens old legends and buried fears of children. But it's rather fascinating," says François, in his fifties, a resident of the area where the animal was observed.
To complete this investigation, the OFB plans to install other cameras this week to obtain additional data on the animal. Recall that there are about 700 wolves in France and that the attack on the physical integrity of one of these animals is punishable by three years of imprisonment and a fine of 150,000 euros.