For first time in more than a hundred years, a wild wolf was spotted in the Netherlands.

It's been more than a hundred years since a wild wolf roamed Dutch soil, but have the creatures finally returned?


The above video shows the recent appearance of a gray wolf in Noord-Sleen. Once common across Europe, the wolf is now threatened by the human destruction of its natural habitats.

The country's last official wolf sighting was in 1897. One was spotted last June, but no one recorded evidence of it. Like that unconfirmed wolf, this one is thought to have come from Germany, where about 20 packs have grown to a population of about 150 known wolves since first appearing from Poland in 1998.

After being spotted several times over the weekend, the wolf reportedly went back home to Germany. But representatives of the conservation group Wolves in the Netherlands say it's just a matter of time before wolves start settling on their side of the border for good.

"Based on the rapid growth of the population in Germany, the migration of the animal was really just a case of wait and see," Leo Linnartz, a spokesman for the group, told the Telegraph in 2013. At the time, Linnartz was reacting to a less joyous wolf sighting: A dead female had been found on the road, leaving officials wondering whether an intrepid immigrant had been struck down or whether someone had brought her body across the border to dump it.

Since then, the government has declared the wolf a protected species, which will hopefully protect any new wolf residents from suffering a similar fate.


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