A few words about the wolf.

The damage caused by wolves is the responsibility of the State Treasury, in accordance with Article 126(2) of the Nature Conservation Act. The procedure for compensating damages has been regulated in the Minister of Environment’s Regulation of 8 February 2018 on estimating damages caused by certain species of protected animals. In the case of damage caused by wolves, a compensation application must be submitted to the relevant regional director of environmental protection (in the case of the Pomeranian Voivodship, to the Regional Director of Environmental Protection in Gdańsk). It is important to report the damage immediately after it has been identified. Do not move the attacked animals or erase any traces in their vicinity. It is advisable to document the damage with photographs. Importantly, compensation is not granted for damage caused by wolves, among other reasons, to the heads of livestock left unattended from sunset to sunrise, in accordance with Article 126(6)(3)(d) of the Nature Conservation Act. It should also be noted that according to the provisions of the Animal Protection Act, it is prohibited to release dogs without the possibility of control and without identification markings enabling the identification of the owner or guardian, while according to the provisions of the Forest Act, it is prohibited to release dogs freely in the forest. Wolves are usually timid and avoid contact with humans (fear of humans is a characteristic feature of this species). However, like any wild animals, they can behave unpredictably if they are frightened, sick, or injured. This can be caused by disorders resulting from diseases such as scabies or rabies. In the case of young wolves, the disorders can also be caused by the disruption of the pack, for example, as a result of the death of their parents caused by poaching. In the event of encountering a wolf that approaches within a distance of less than 30 meters or observes you for too long, do the following: – Raise your hands and wave them broadly in the air. This will spread your scent and make your silhouette more visible. – Shout loudly in a sharp tone towards the wolf. This will make it realize that it is dealing with a human and that it is unwelcome. – If the animal does not respond and instead approaches closer, throw objects within reach at it, preferably clumps of earth. – Withdraw calmly; you can accelerate only when you are sure that the animal is far away and not interested in you. – If possible, take a photo of the animal and notify the competent Commune Office, the relevant regional director of environmental protection, and the Association for Nature “Wilk”. Containers for waste or compost bins are an easy source of food and can attract wolves to approach houses and farms. Installing motion sensor lighting nearby can deter wolves. Do not leave food scraps during trips to the forest – all waste should be taken with you to avoid attracting predators. Young individuals, in particular, can become dependent on such a food source and, as a result, learn to perceive humans as providers of food. If you observe a wolf whose behavior causes concern or seems exhausted, as well as finding a wolf pup, if possible, take photographs and mark the location, for example, in Google Maps or remember the number of a forest division post and immediately inform the relevant regional director of environmental protection and representatives of the Association for Nature “Wilk”. The same should be done if you have information that someone is unlawfully keeping a wolf. Irresponsible behavior of people trying to feed or tame wolves can be a problem. Practices of unethical and unimaginative photographing of wild animals using bait (places where animals are lured with food) are particularly condemnable. Creating bait sites can have serious consequences for these beautiful and desirable animals in the ecosystem. The consequence can be the loss of natural fear of humans and the approaching of wolves to buildings and attacking domestic and farm animals. In this regard, it is worth emphasizing that the Association of Polish Nature Photographers has introduced a ban on feeding large predatory mammals if it is done for the purpose of photography. For the safety of people, as well as for the welfare of wolves, it is extremely important to avoid actions that encourage these predators to stay near buildings or make them dependent on humans, including securing waste containers from the access of predatory animals, especially in areas where the presence of wolves has been confirmed. Adhering to the above principles will undoubtedly reduce incidents involving wolves, which contribute to conflicts between human activity and nature. Information taken from the website https://www.gov.pl/web/rdos-warszawa/o-wilku-slow-kilka. Photo by G. Leśniewski.