Dutch authorities plan to shoot paintball pellets at a young wolf to teach it to stay away from people, after it got too close to visitors at a national park.
“Over the past few weeks, a wolf in the Hoge Veluwe national park had approached hikers and visitors,” said Gueldre province in the centre of the country on Tuesday.
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“It’s probably a young animal. To prevent the wolf from being tamed and to teach the animal to keep away from people, Gueldre law enforcement officers will dissuade the wolf with paintball guns.”
The aim is to teach the animal to keep at least 30 metres (yards) from people, according to local media.
Wolves are protected animals in The Netherlands, meaning that disturbing or hunting them is only possible with special authorisation.
Gueldre authorities said they had a permit and planned to start the paintball shooting shortly.
Wolves killed some 30 sheep in the northern province of Drenthe in September, according to the BIJ12 agency that keeps track of damage caused by wolves in the country.
It estimates that there are currently four packs of wolves and 11 lone wolves in the Netherlands.