Wolves roaming free in south-eastern France after storm Alex destroys park

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A well-known wolf park in south-eastern France was destroyed by Storm Alex, local officials have confirmed.We know that a wolf is dead and we do not know where are 12 others who lived in the Alpha park, in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Agents from the PACA branch of the French Biodiversity Office (OFB) will be sent to the area as soon as possible to track down wolves and capture them with tranquilizer guns, regional director Eric Hansen said, confirming the destruction of the Park.

Alpha Parc was home to three different species of wolves; European, Canadian and Arctic White Gray Wolves. The dead wolf is a white arctic wolf. The park aimed to give visitors the chance to better understand wolves.

The union responsible for the park said on its Facebook page a day ago that the area was inaccessible but helicopters had flown over and the park appeared to be destroyed although they could not see some of the taller enclosures due to forest cover.

They said they had given details of the wolves and their tagging devices to the OFB, the Mercantour National Park and the Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes. They said their first priority was saving people and urged the public not to spread fake stories about wolves.

Mr Hansen said on his LinkedIn site that officials were looking for a place to bring back the wolves once they were picked up.

Denise Leiboff, president of the Association of Pastoral Communes of the SOUTH region which represents local farmers, said on her Facebook page that she was very worried about the situation and hoped that the Prefecture would help farmers protect their animals.

OFB is quoted in the press as saying that because wolves are not wild, they are more likely to stay near their park, waiting for someone to feed them.

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