North Denmark, Denmark
Big predators like bears, wolves and lynxes are returning to areas from which they have been eradicated for centuries. Denmark has had wild wolves since 2012, and those who thought that the return of the wolves would go off peacefully were terribly mistaken. Nothing is that simple when it comes to wolves.
Their re-immigration after being absent from the Danish landscape for almost two hundred years is anything but straightforward, and involuntarily the fabled predator now has the leading part in a heated debate. Everyone has taken a position, and when it comes to the wolf, emotions are as weighty as facts.
Behind fake news, political populism and polarisation the parties involved meet the predator on widely different terms. Wolf advisers meet frustrated sheep breeders who are trying to solve a completely new problem. Local citizens stand divided: Is it possible at all to be next door neighbours to a pack of wolves? Some can’t hide their excitement about the return of the wolf, and the wolf enthusiasts help scientists present facts and scientific documentation. Others join “Wolf-free Denmark”, founded on the very day a local man took matters into his own hands and shot a wolf in the West Jutland wolf zone.
This story sheds light on a new situation in Denmark. But it is also a universal story about the clash between man and beast, which might take place in Sweden as well as in Poland and North America.