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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Wałbrzych. A wolf without a paw cannot hunt, but is allowed to be eaten by a pack

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One of the wolves living in the forests of the Wałbrzych Forest District lost a paw in unknown circumstances. He moved quite awkwardly at first, but now he is keeping pace with the rest of the pack. His actions are recorded from time to time by camera traps.

The camera trap recorded a wolf without a paw for the first time on May 21 this year. The causes of limb loss are unknown, the most probable version seems to be the activity of poachers. Andrzej Stochel, a forester from Łomnica, suspects that the wound was still fresh that day.

– The male could have approached the camera trap on the first day after losing the front left leg. You can see in the video that he has a lot of mobility problems. In the following months, the stump healed and it looks much better – admits Stochel.

A wolf fresh from losing a pawAndrzej Stochel

The male is still in the pack

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The forester explains that this particular male belongs to a larger wolf family living in the forests of the Wałbrzych Sudety Mountains, but also on the other side of the border with our Czech neighbors. Andrzej Stochel follows the pack’s journeys thanks to camera traps.

– The game is hunted by five individuals. This year’s puppies are not yet hunting. The group brings food and our wolf will always milk something after them, he is allowed to eat. This is an adult male. I don’t know if he’s the main father of the family, but the rest are looking after him. Recently it has been doing really well – admits the forester from Łomnica.


Proof of this is even a fresh recording from November 5. The wildlife camera recorded a pack vigilantly traversing the forest in the middle of the night. Only glowing pairs of eyes can be seen from a distance, then the outlines of wolf silhouettes. Eight individuals pass in a fairly tight group. About 20 seconds later, the pawless male also emerges from the darkness. Let no one be fooled by this sight. It’s not like it stays behind all the time. Stochel admits that on other recordings he follows the rest of the pack on an equal footing. Sometimes it even comes to the fore of the herd.

Now the foresters will watch how the wolf will cope with the difficult winter season.

Main photo source: Andrzej Stochel

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