A WOLF has been shot dead in a chicken run in Dordogne – with claims it may have killed two sheep.
Although still awaiting a post mortem and DNA tests, the Périgueux prosecutor has confirmed that the animal killed at Saint-Léon-sur-l'Isle, between Mussidan and Périgueux, looked like a wolf.
Once very common in Dordogne and Limousin, wolves have long disappeared from the area and the last reported sighting was in 1929 but there were sightings reported last year in neighbouring Lot and Gers.
The shock find was made by 73-year-old Albert Allemandou who went out to his chicken run after his wife told him there was a wolf there. Albert told Franceinfo he had seen what he had taken to be a dog out in his fields earlier in the day.
“It bared its teeth and was very aggressive. I’m told it growled, but I’m deaf and heard nothing. It was very thin.”
He shut the chicken run door and called the SPA animal protection and the mairie but got no response so went to his neighbour, who was a hunter. “It had lost a front paw as if caught in a trap and was lying in a corner.”
Although his chickens seem unharmed he told Sud Ouest that he had lost two sheep in the past few days, after finding the first one on Friday and the second the next day.
Gendarmes and rangers from the ONCFS weighed the animal when they arrived on scene and said it weighed 17kg.
Périgueux prosecutor Jean-François Mailhes told reporters it looked like a wolf but was in a very bad way. The post mortem could prove conclusive - if the animal was dying then the hunter was right to put it out of its misery, but he may face charges if not.
Wild animal protection charity Aspas has already laid two complaints: one of poaching as it seemed the animal had been caught in an illegal trap and secondly of shooting a protected wild animal.
At the weekend three wolves were shot by wolf hunters at Isola in the Alpes-Maritimes. The prefecture said flocks of sheep in the area had been under heavy attack from wolf packs and the hunters were brought in. A pack of six had been seen.
This summer the law was eased to allow 36 wolves to be killed across France and 19 have been killed since July – with eight of these in Alpes-Maritimes.