VIDEO: Hunters say they caught (and released) golden jackal in France

They are ‘90% sure’ the animal was a jackal, and are now waiting for DNA test results

Jackals are commonly found on the Eurasian plains, but some have been seen in France
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Hunters in the north of France claim to have found a golden jackal in the wild during a recent expedition.

The hunting federation of Blanzy-lès-Fismes, on the border between the Marne and Aisne departments, claim they found the animal in one of their traps after a hunt.

“We can't say with 100% certainty that it's a golden jackal. We're waiting for tests to come back. But it must be 90%,” said Gaëtan Legeay, an officer of the federation.

The Office français de la biodiversité (French national biodiversity office) took DNA tests of the assumed jackal, which are currently undergoing examinations in a laboratory.

A video of the animal taken by the hunters can be seen below.

It is not the first time a jackal has been found in France, and solitary males of the species have been infrequently spotted since 2017.

In October 2023 the body of a dead female was found near Marseille, indicating that the animals may be reproducing in France.

Read more: Young golden jackal found in France for first time

The golden jackal historically has a native across the Eurasian continent, from India to the eastern Italian border.

In recent years however the animals have been spotted moving further and further westward.

Earlier this year, footage of a jackal was taken for the first time in Spain, close to the Pyrénées mountains.

Read more: Wolf numbers increase in France, rules on hunting them to be relaxed

Animal had to be released

The hunters explained to local media that regulations forced them to release the animal back into the wild.

Although jackals have been spotted, they are not officially recognised by French authorities, so hunters cannot interact with the animal.

“There's a sort of regulatory vacuum, because it doesn't encroach on the territory of another species. If that were the case, we would have to remove it, as we do with raccoons,” said a spokesperson of the federation to L’Union.

“The animal went on its way after the samples were taken, and now we have to wait… but it's not certain that we'll be seeing the jackal again any time soon, given how discreet it is,” they added.

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