Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tuscany's Wolf Attacks on the Rise

A pack of Italian wolves

It has been recently reported attacks by wolves are on the rise in Italy's region of Tuscany. Politicians have warned that wolf attacks are extending to critical levels, and have called on the government to lend a hand in the situation. The Daily Mail reported that there is an increase in fear that the wolves could attack people. According to Antonio Gambetta Vianna, a local councilor of Chianti, three attacks had occurred in daytime hours and near farming buildings and houses. He stated that the attacks indicate that wolves have no fear of humans or their settlements. He further added that attacks on people could affect Tuscany's tourism industry and has inquired a task force to resolve the issue. It has been said that wolf packs have been forced to descend down from the Apennine Mountains due to extremely cold weather. Over the last two months, they preyed on the domestic livestock in Tuscany's hills and vales while fearlessly approaching farm buildings. A number of livestock killings had occurred in areas around Lucca, Siena, and Val d'Orcia. Lucca Forestry Commission's Maurizio Forriero stated that the number of wolves has been increasing dramatically and heavy snowfall has made it hard for them to hunt for food in the mountains. In addition, the snowfall has also forced the wolves' natural prey such as hares and wild boar to descend down into the lowlands. As a result, the wolves followed their prey which led them right into the proximity of human settlements.

I feel that this article is a clear indication that serious measurements are needed to prevent any further impact on the agriculture industry of Tuscany. Furthermore, local people are also vulnerable to attacks by wolves even though there has not been any recent documented case of a wolf attacking a human in the region. However, locals are well-aware about the dangers of coming into encounters with wolves. Alberto Focacci of the Italian Farmers Confederation stated that the animals are known to "savage shepherds that come between the predator and flock." When wolves terrorize Tuscany's country folk, it would tremendously impact the region's tourism industry preventing foreign visitors from entering the region. This is why it is extremely crucial to tackle this issue, in which both wolves and people can live side by side each other without any conflicts.

View article here