For the first since they were eradicated over a century ago, what appears to be a wild wolf was recorded wandering through a town in the Netherlands. This could signal the return of the species to its former range in that country.
Young wolves often disperse from their birth pack in search of their own territory and a mate with which to form their own pack. It's thought that this animal might have been born in Germany and wandered its way into the Netherlands.
If the animal spotted in the Netherlands is indeed a wild wolf (and not a wolf escaped from captivity, or wolf-dog) then it could be part of a recent trend in predator population recovery all over Europe. Wolves, along with bears, lynx and wolverines, are making a comeback, which is excellent news.
In North America, such dispersing wolves have recently been spotted in California and Arizona.
European wolf. Photo by Torak via Flickr Creative Commons.
Protect Red Wolves from Poachers with the National Wildlife Federation.