The wolf found dead along the A28 at the beginning of March belonged to a pack of wolves in Germany. DNA testing has shown that the healthy male wolf of about 1.5 years old was a member of the Cuxhaven pack based north of the town of Bremen in Lower Saxony. This is approximately 200 km from the place where the body of the animal was recovered in March.
In conjunction with Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra), the Dutch Wildlife Health Centre at the Veterinary Faculty of Utrecht University performed the postmortem exam. The animal was in good body condition and weighed 41.5kg. Stomach contents included the remains of a hare; tape worms were found in the intestines.
Wageningen Environmental Research carried out DNA analysis to determine the species and provenance of this animal. Results provide definitive proof that this was a wolf and show a complete DNA match with DNA records at the Duitse Senckenberg Research Institute from wolf feces found near Cuxhaven in the north of Lower Saxony in October 2016: The male wolf found dead along the A28 was a member of the German Cuxhaven pack.
A lone female wolf was spotted in the Cuxhaven region in 2012 and a pair of wolves was first seen in 2014. Litters were born in both 2015 and 2016 and it is believed that the 1.5 year-old wolf found dead in Veeningen was a pup from the 2015 Cuxhaven litter. Lower Saxony is home to many wolves, both lone, pairs and packs. More information about the Lower Saxony wolf population is available (in German) on the wildlife management website.
Wageningen Environmental Research and the DWHC examined the stomach and intestinal contents from this animal. The contents of the stomach weighed 190g and included fur and bones from a hare (Lepus europaeus). The presence of tape worms that usually infect deer (Taenia cervi) in the intestines indicates that the wolf had eaten a deer (Capreolus capreolus).
Suspected damage caused by the wolf can be reported to Bij12 – Unit Faunafonds, the expertise and advice centre for damage caused by wild animals (http://www.bij12.nl).