Do you remember Bruno the bear, the brown bear whose story made headlines last summer? After having been happily and safely resident in Italy for years, Bruno made the mistake of straying across the border into Bavaria, where it was shot by a hunter, despite its status as a species theoretically protected across the EU.
Well, we are facing a repeat of the fate that befell Bruno the bear, but this time it’s up to the wolves. As a matter of fact, despite theoretical protection under EU law, wolves continue to be targeted in France and Switzerland (where the most recent kill took place, at the end of last month). “In Italy the wolves must be protected,” said Italy's Environment Minister, “In France and Switzerland on the other hand they are massacred. […] We don't accept a repetition of the Bruno saga.”
As Alberto Meriggi, a researcher at the University of Pavia and an expert on the distribution of wolves in the northern Appenines, told la Repubblica newspaper, “Our decision to apply the law protecting wolves without exception has allowed the Appenine wolf to return vigorously throughout the peninsula. […] Today once again the Italian wolf is in resurgence. We must be careful not to allow the destruction of decades of work.” [Read the rest]
Well, I am equally bound to say that we should be very careful. Besides, who is afraid—as St. Francis of Assisi would have said—of Brother Wolf?