Monschau A group of hikers came upon a wolf-like animal in the Eifel near Monschau and took it into captivity. As they found out later, it was a wolf-dog hybrid, a wolf having produced offspring with a domestic dog three generations ago. The State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection North Rhine-Westphalia released the information on Thursday.
In the mysterious case of the "fake wolf" it turned out that the animal carried a transponder chip, allowing its origin to be traced to Belarus. "How the animal reached the Eifel from Belarus is unknown", explained the State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection NRW (Lanuv). In the meantime, the agency has sent an inquiry to the authorities in Belarus and the animal is being cared for in an appropriate environment.
The wolf-dog hybrid had followed the hikers for several hours. It is believed to be two to three years old, a young male that has not been castrated. Lanuv reported that the wolf-dog exhibited "shy, but not aggressive" behavior. The animal begged for food and allowed itself to be put on a leash. The transponder chip was clear evidence that the animal did not come from the wild, but rather from captivity, explained Lanuv. Releasing the animal is not being considered at this time.
In North Rhine-Westphalia there are now four designated wolf areas. These are located in Schermbeck in the Wesel district, in the Senne near Bielefeld, the northern Eifel at the border to Belgium as well as in the Oberbergischen district.