Storm Alex has wreaked havoc all around – and in nature too. Spare a thought for wild-life or at least the partially tame wild-life including the wolves in the wonderful Alpha Parc enclosed within the vast Mercantour National Park.
Fear was that the three wolf enclosures had been completely destroyed leaving the three Arctic wolves, the seven Canadian wolves and the three Central European wolves, which are Parc-fed, wandering scavenging for food and at the mercy of wild wolf packs.
There were alerts put out, including by the mayor of Lieuche, president of the Association of pastoral municipalities who was worried that local breeders’ herds could also be vulnerable to these hungry newly dispersed wolves.
Some confusion still reigns as press reports claim residents have seen the Black Canadian Wolves wandering on the Boréon road a few kilometres from the village of Saint-Martin-Vésubie.
Reconnaissance Confirms The Destruction
Reports also confirm that a team of officers from the French Biodiversity Office (OFB) went to the Boréon site for reconnaissance, noting that the enclosure closest to the water, where three arctic wolves lived has been destroyed and a wolf’s corpse discovered. The enclosure of the seven Canadian black wolves is reported as also partially wrecked. Only the third enclosure, which shelters three wolves from central Europe is intact. These wolves were still secured inside, but remained vulnerable and a rescue operation was launched.
Air Rescue Operation for the Wolves
Thus a helicopter was dispatched by the local police to anesthetize the wolves before transporting the sleepy trio to Nice by air. Two days later, press reports confirmed they had arrived at the Sanctuaire des loups, a refuge located in Frontenay Rohan Rohan, in Deux Sèvres with which the Alpha park collaborates. The refuge, over 1000 kilometres away from Alpha Park broadcast the good news on Facebook. “Two males: Akéla 12 years old, Kiowa 13 years old, and a female, Nemiack (aka Tala) 12 years are doing well”.
Wolves Still at Large
It is not clear that all the remaining wolves that dispersed during the storm have been located and rounded up yet. According to press reports two wolves had returned by themselves the next day. A third had been attracted by meat and a fourth had been recovered three days later close by.
While they are used to close contact with humans and are not normally aggressive, the danger would be that people, seeing the wolves, try to approach them or capture them. These animals are used to seeing people up very close – so they are unlikely to flee immediately. But best to be cautious, keep your distance, and call in professionals to rescue them. Remember they are still a wild species.
Alpha Park is in Saint Martin de Vésubie where in normal times you can explore the 18-hectare Mercantour National Park to discover and learn about the wolves inside this vast natural home to wild-life. The Park is an ideal place for children to see and learn about wolves in their natural habitat.