The re-emergence of grey wolves in Hungary causes a lot of disputes between hunters and environmentalists. Since the predators hunt for wild game as their source of food, some hunters and livestock farmers regard them as pests because the wolves cause damages by killing valuable animals.
The root of the problem
Based on the information of the Bükk National Park, currently, there are wolf packs living in the Bükk Mountains, in Mátra and in the Tarnavidék protected area, Index reports.
According to the news outlet, the reason wolves have become more and more widespread and present in growing numbers in Hungary is forestation.
Forestation provides a better habitat for game animals that are prey to the grey wolves. Since the population of these animals grew, some wolves migrated back to the country.
However, while the wolves are highly protected animals, they can cause some serious problems indirectly. Game animals fleeing from the packs of wolves can enter urban areas. Deer and elk, for example, can be dangerous and even cause damage to the residents.
Additionally, last summer, 22 sheep have been killed by predators in Mátranovák which further worsened the reputation of wolves.
Nimród, a hunters’ magazine has recently shared that a wolf mauled and torn apart a wild male red deer near Mátranovák-Mátracserpuszta on 14 February.
The red deer entered an urban area which was reported by a local to the hunter’s association. However, by the time the hunters arrived, they could only find bloodstains. Thanks to a bloodhound, the hunters found the deer 1.5 kilometres away.
Unfortunately, the wolves started eating the male deer, thus it had to be put out of its misery.
Due to the aforementioned damages and complications the protected grey wolves can cause, it has been an open secret in the hunting society, that some people purposefully hunt grey wolves to stop them from killing the game they could sell to other hunters, RTL reported.
According to their sources, some people use carbofuran, a banned pesticide that has similar toxicity to the notorious V-series nerve agents, posing a threat also to human life. Others use bait that is infected by canine diseases.
There have been several cases when hunters dumped hundreds of kilograms of animal carcasses in areas, sometimes even protected natural reserves or near the Hungarian National Blue Trail a popular hiking route, to lure the wolves there.
It has to be said that while the hunters who want to get rid of wolves do this practice to be able to shoot the animals, this action poses great danger directly to hikers as well as other animals, and indirectly to people living nearby as the harmful fluids of the rotting carcasses can enter local waters.
According to Berek, experts say that they only have indirect evidence of the illegal killing of wolves.
Since there are only about 40-50 wolves in the total area of the Bükk National Park, it is evident when an adult animal disappears and its carcass is not found.
There are no perpetrators
According to RTL, since 2013, no one has been found accountable by the authorities for killing the highly protected grey wolves, but among hunters, it is said that if someone is going hunting with a rifle and a shovel, it is evident that he is going to kill a wolf.
The news outlet asked the Hungarian police about the matter, but they responded that the case of a killed wolf from 2018 has been still under investigation and they cannot give details about unclosed cases.
Read alsoForeign hunters kill hundreds of wild game in Hungary
Source: rtl.hu, berek.hu, index.hu, nimrod.hu
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