Hunters in the Alpine Haute-Savoie claim they have evidence that golden jackals are now living and hunting in the mountains of eastern France.
The predators are usually found in North Africa, Asia and south-eastern Europe, but have been making their way west via the Balkans since the 1980s, experts say.
The hunters say photographs from automatic imaging systems, which are used to monitor lynx and wolf movements in the area, have caught jackals on camera.
Sightings have been confirmed in neighbouring Italy, Germany and Switzerland, but this would be the first evidence of the animals in France. But experts say they need more evidence before confirming the sighting. They describe the hunters’ black-and-white photographs as inconclusive.