Photo: Nature Help Center
In the German village of Wippingen, across the border near Sellen, rubber bullets are used to deter wolves. This says Johannes Hempen, Vice Mayor of Wippingen.
The village’s 1,000 residents have always been concerned about wolves staying nearby and showing themselves near their homes. The fact that the sports grounds are located in a forest, through which children have to ride bicycles, added to the fears.
This summer, the unrest temporarily came to a head when a cow in Wippingen was bitten to death, most likely by a wolf. The residents then submitted 3,500 signatures to Landkreis Emsland, the regional government, and demanded measures against the wolves. A meeting was also held in the village where a number of politicians spoke on the subject.
The Landkreis family responded to the disturbance and took action: cameras were placed in and near the village to show the animals’ movements. “It has become very clear that packs of wolves are already approaching our homes on a regular basis,” Hempin says. “I have a farm myself and have watched them several times. Based on these camera images, it is now decided that rubber bullets can be used. Hopefully this helps, because concerns are still high.”
Rubber bullets will be fired by volunteers when the wolves approach buildings, aiming to fend off the animals. German law does not allow shooting wolves.