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Animal Believed To Be A Wolf Spotted In Northern France For First Time In A Century

Animal Believed To Be A Wolf Spotted In Northern France For First Time In A Century

An animal believed to be a wolf has been caught on CCTV camera in Normandy, making it the first such sighting in northern France in around a century.

The wolf was captured on an automatic surveillance camera near the village of Londinières, in Normandy's Seine-Maritime department.

In a statement, the prefecture confirmed that experts at the French Biodiversity Office - a state organisation that monitors the country's wolf population - had 'authenticated this observation as very probably being a grey wolf'.

Credit: Seine-Maritime Prefecture
Credit: Seine-Maritime Prefecture
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Credit: Seine-Maritime Prefecture
Credit: Seine-Maritime Prefecture

In France, European grey wolves were hunted to extinction back in the 1930s, but re-entered the country from Italy in the 1990s.

However, while the animals have been spreading across the land and re-establishing themselves in the decades since, until now none have been sighted so far north.

Seine-Maritime Prefecture said: ''They can cover distances of several hundred kilometres in a few months before settling.

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"The maximum distance from the place of birth can exceed 1,500 kilometres (1,350 miles)."

Credit: Seine-Maritime Prefecture
Credit: Seine-Maritime Prefecture
Credit: Seine-Maritime Prefecture
Credit: Seine-Maritime Prefecture

Around 530 wolves are thought to be living in France today, with the majority of these found in the Alps or towards the south-east near the border with Italy.

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The EU's Bern Convention, a binding international legal instrument in the field of nature conservation - signed by France - considers wolves to be a protected species, which means the population has grown by around 40 percent in the last two years.

According to The Telegraph, other European nations reporting a rise in domestic wolf populations include Italy, Denmark, Latvia and Estonia.

While France has wolves, over in South Africa they've got lions causing havoc in the streets.

Well, when I say havoc, I mean peacefully snoozing in the middle of the road of a national park.

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The lions were spotted having some downtime at Kruger National Park, where they had decided the normally-busy road would make the perfect spot for a nap in the afternoon sun - making the most of a tourist-free space.

Kruger National Park spokesperson Isaac Phaahla told CBS News: "They are nocturnal animals and it is not unusual for them to sleep during the day, what is unusual is the utilisation of the tarred road because normally if there is traffic, they would not be using the tarred road."

Photos of the dozing animals were uploaded by the Park's social media team after being snapped by Section Ranger Richard Sowry.

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Sowry told BBC News that he was desperate to get closer to the lions, however he knew they would scamper off if they saw him approaching.

"Lions are used to people in vehicles," he said.

"All animals have much more of an instinctive fear of people on foot, so if I had walked up they would never have allowed me to get so close."

Featured Image Credit: Seine-Maritime Prefecture

Topics: wolf, World News, News, France, Animals

Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]