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First Wild Wolf in SW Germany for 123 Years Shot Dead April 27, 2012
Wolf shot dead in Germany
Picture taken on April 21 shows the dead animal lying on the forest floor near Gensingen, Germany.
The first wolf to be spotted in southwest Germany’s Westerwald region in 123 years was shot dead just weeks after it was first sighted.

The regional hunting association has offered a $1,300 reward for information leading to the identification of the culprit.

The wolf is a protected species, and the one killed was put down with a high-powered rifle that only hunters are legally allowed to own.

“The killing of the wolf must be fully investigated and the person responsible must be held to account,” said Kurt Alexander Michael, president of the Rhineland-Palatinate regional hunting federation.

“If it was a hunter, he can expect a high fine and the loss of his hunting license.”

Germany’s wolf population was wiped out by overhunting during the 19th century.

Destruction of its habitat and barriers erected across the landscape during the Cold War prevented the animals from migrating back from Eastern Europe.

Wolves only began returning to the country in 2000, but have mainly been confined to the east of the country.

Only about 100 of the animals are believed to be roaming German forests.

Photo: German Police Handout