The mayor of Palombaro to Adnkronos: “Anomalous behavior”
She had gone out with her small dog when suddenly she was attacked by a wolf who bit the animal she was holding. It happened this morning in the center of Palombaro in the province of Chieti. “It was around 9.40 – the mayor of Palombaro, Consuelo Di Martino told Adnkronos – when the predator attacked her. She approached and tried, in every way, to snatch the animal from her hands”.
The mistress defended it strenuously: at first she managed to take it back from her jaws. And she walked, with the dog in her arms, towards the house. The wolf followed her for about fifty yards. At one point, in the drama of the moment, scared, she fell and the wolf jumped on her. At that point she grabbed the little dog she was holding and fled with the prey in her teeth. The woman, in shock and full of scratches and bruises from the fight, engaged in an attempt to save the dog, was rescued and taken to hospital. “All the competent authorities have been alerted – the mayor resumes -: the forest carabinieri and the ASL veterinarian immediately arrived. We looked for the little dog, but we only found patches of blood, not far away”. He may have been killed and mauled. “Experts say that it is rather anomalous behavior, therefore, it could be a specimen, perhaps hunted by the herd and hungry, therefore potentially dangerous. We recommend the utmost caution”.
ENPA extension – The National Animal Protection Body is “saddened” by what happened in Palombaro, in the province of Chieti, where a lady and her dog were allegedly attacked by an animal suspected to be a wolf. In wishing the lady a full and speedy recovery, the Animal Protection requests that accurate checks be carried out, including through the genetic analysis of any biological findings, to ascertain the exact dynamics of the facts and identity of the animal involved.
“As unanimously recognized by the scientific community – explains the Enpa – at first sight it is impossible to distinguish some dog breeds from a wolf. Let’s think, for example, of how easy it is to confuse a Czechoslovakian shepherd with a wolf. Only the examination of the DNA makes it possible to ascertain the species to which it belongs with absolute and scientific certainty. In short, even if in perfect good faith, the eye can be deceiving”.
This is also confirmed by a study by the Higher Institute for Research and Environmental Protection (Ispra) on predatory events, reported in Italy between 2015 and 2019. For about a third of the cases – 3,660 out of about 18 thousand, writes Ispra – the veterinary authorities were unable to establish with certainty whether the depredations had been carried out by a dog or a wolf. On the case of Palombaro, the National Animal Protection Body invites everyone, authorities and institutions, to exercise the utmost caution, also because according to the first reconstructions – one of which was made by the mayor himself – the alleged ‘wolf’ would have behaved anomalously due to his species. Nonetheless, as happened in other circumstances, there was a great rush to point the finger at the large predator, not even leaving the benefit of the doubt and without even waiting for all the necessary checks to be carried out by the competent authorities. “With the clear risk that this story will be exploited to fuel hate campaigns and alarmism not only against wolves, but more generally against all wild animals. It is a biocidal vision that – concludes Enpa – belongs neither to us nor to the majority of Italians, and which we strongly send back to its supporters: wolves and bears are particularly protected species and must remain so”.