Young wolfhound on meadow
Is there no other option than death?

For a long time wolves were considered extinct in Germany. When the first wolf cubs were born in the wild here in 2000, it was a milestone for conservationists. But these puppies, which are currently with their wolf mother through the Bavarian Lower Franconia strip are anything but welcome.

The reason: your father is a Domestic dog from Thuringia, who mated with a female wolf in spring 2022. But that must not be, insofar as the five wolf hybrids are threatened with death – also known as “removal”. These are the strict rules of the Federal Nature Conservation Act in such a case. In Thuringia, a removal procedure was already ordered in relation to the puppies in the summer.

Capture would be needless suffering

The State Office for the Environment (LfU) in Augsburg justified loudly this measure as follows: The wolf species can only survive if it retains its ability to adapt to life in the wild. Crossbreeding with domestic dogs can result in a Deterioration of the gene pool and thereby lead to a loss of this property.

The killing is justified by the fact that the animals born and raised in the wild do not adapt to life in one enclosure would get used to. For them, captivity would mean needless suffering.

The real problem with the wolf hybrids

However, this approach to wolf hybrids is highly controversial. The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation already declared at the request of mdr knowledgethat, contrary to popular belief, they are not more aggressive and no greater danger would represent for humans. Experts such as the Austrian wolf researcher Kurt Kotrschal also point out that wolves and dogs are so closely related that one cannot actually speak of two species.

The real problem for the conservationists, which is why it is so strictly ensured that no hybrids are created: If there are matings between wolves and dogs, then ultimately they are Wolves in danger of extinction. Because the genetic variants could then gradually mix so that in the end there is only one species.


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