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This is rewilding

One factor contributing to the apex predators’ presence is the fact that much agricultural land on the outskirts of Siena is no longer farmed.

It has reverted to scrubland, which provides a habitat for roe deer and wild boar and attracts the wolves, the mayor said.

The effect?

There has been an increasing number of sightings on the outskirts of Siena, some 135 miles (220 kilometres) north of Rome, as the creatures nonchalantly pad along suburban streets.

The most recent sighting was in late January when a pair was spotted at Porta Camollia, on the northern edge of the Tuscan city.

They were seen by a motorist who did not manage to photograph them with his mobile phone. But he notified the authorities and officials found wolf excrement at the scene.

G. Monbiot will be along in a moment to tell us that the solution is to bring the bears back to attack the wolves.

20 thoughts on “This is rewilding”

  1. The Other Bloke in Italy

    Seven or eight years ago, a new variety of wolf appeared here, in places and at low elevations where wolves were rarely seen before.

    It turned out that the larger, more aggressive variety had been trapped in the Balkans and imported by environmentalists.

    Farmers have been prosecuted for shooting the invaders.

    Perhaps the Siena wolves have been fleeing the immigrants…

  2. Until a few years ago, Australia’s fox numbers were kept down by shooter, who sold the skins for export. Activists in Europe managed to ban the import of skins, which ended the fox fur market, As a result, we have vast numbers of foxes eating our native animals. Plus pigs, deer, goodness knows what else.

  3. Bears generally don’t mess with wolves, or vice versa.

    But yes, the bears have been marching up as well.. Friend of mine lives on the german/czechian border, and besides a bloody big pack of wolves ( possibly some smaller ones as well, but hard to tell with the Brady Bunch there…), there’s lately also clear bear signs there.

    He has a BIG piece of land behind his house, and a semi-abandoned orchard, and more land that the neighbours own, but don’t care about and that he can use.
    But we shelved the idea of having some friends come over and camp out over a lazy summer and do something with it for the time being.
    We are a pretty crazy lot with delusions of Youth, but not stupid…

    At least the ones coming from the twelve confirmed breeding pairs here in Clogland seem to be the smart kind, and except for the occasional inquisitive youngster you rarely get to even see them.

  4. “G. Monbiot will be along in a moment to tell us that the solution is to bring the bears back to attack the wolves.”

    Mind where you tread. Wolf excrement, then bear, then bull.

  5. When they are nonchalantly padding along suburban streets they are well along the path to domestications. The test is to adopt an authoritative voice and say “SIT”. If that doesn’t work try “SEDERE”.

  6. Klaus will need to organise some decent fencing around our 15 minute cities once the rest of the countryside has been “Re-Wilded”. We won’t be very happy living in them if we’re being attacked by packs of Wolves & Bears on a daily basis…

  7. I find all animals seem to understand “voetsek”.

    We were at Sinamatella Camp in the Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. My late father-in-law was sat outside having a cig when a honey badger, renowned for their ferocity, started heading towards him. When it was about ten yards away, he said in his broad Yorkshire accent “come any closer, son, and you’ll get some of my boot”. With that, the honey badger raised its head, sniffed the air and disappeared back into the darkness.

    As an aside, Sinamatella is one of the most scenic camps we have ever stayed at. Top sightings were cheetah and bat eared foxes.

  8. Just out of interest, how do you differentiate between wolf shit and dog shit?

    Please don’t say that the dog shit is usually found in little plastic bags hanging from low branches in woods and parks …

  9. W.. Easy… bring a dog with you..

    Except for the crazy breeds ( this includes all dropkick and handbag terriers..), most actual dogs instinctively know when they’re outclassed by a fair margin and GTFO.

    Unless it’s a bitch and she’s in heat, and the Woof happens to be male… Then she will most likely …be gone for a bit.. to get herself some Man.

  10. DocBud gas given me an idea.

    Import some honey badgers from SA.
    Those mad bastards will fight just about anything.

    Oh where is Barbara Woodhouse in our hour of need ?

  11. Just out of interest, how do you differentiate between wolf shit and dog shit?

    Wolf shit tastes a little earthier.

  12. As some one who has lived in areas where bears and wolves are present and currently sees bears and coyotes on my door camera regularly even in an urban setting I’m always amazed how many people have a disneyfied view of them as cute friendly animals.
    Met a few people who have wolf hybrids and they are scary animals , only seen real wolves at a distance but that was enough.
    We really are breeding out sensibility to the dangers of wild life, evolution isn’t always positive

  13. Bloke Temporarily in Moldova

    We really are breeding out sensibility to the dangers of wild life, evolution isn’t always positive

    Most people in the UK have virtually no experience with farm animals, never mind wildlife that can bite back.

    You should see the looks on people’s faces when I tell them that, in the past, I’ve had to boot a too-curious wild dog in the face to get it to leave my lad alone because he was eating a granola bar and the dog was hungry.
    They look at me like I’m some sort of animal abusing monster and not someone defending their child from a wild animal…
    Their only experience of dogs is fluffy cute pets, not scraggy hungry semi-wolf hounds

    There’s loads of wild dogs here and it isn’t unheard of for them to attack adults, small children are but a snack for them and they wouldn’t think twice about snatching food from a toddler – probably take part of the hand as well.

  14. and currently sees bears and coyotes on my door camera regularly even in an urban setting

    Bloody Jehovah’s Witnesses

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