A pack of wild wolves roams Denmark for the first time in 200 years

Tom Lawson

A pack of wolves has become established in the Danish wilderness; one of several recent ‘rewilding’ successes across Europe

A pack of wolves has been sighted in Denmark for the first time since the early 1800s after a female gave birth to cubs this spring.

Male wolves have been spotted in Denmark since 2012, but earlier this year a young female wolf made the 310-mile journey from Germany and joined a male. Video footage captured on farmland in the West Jutland region at the beginning of July shows the family, including up to eight cubs.


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Until the recent revival wolves were last seen in Denmark in 1813, when the last one was killed.

It is just one of several examples across Europe in recent years of what conservationists are describing as successful ‘rewilding’ – the returning of landscapes to their natural state. Wolves have also been re-established in the human-dominated landscapes of France, Germany, Holland and Luxembourg; the Eurasian lynx has stable populations in several eastern European countries; and beavers can now be spotted in Scotland.

But not everyone has welcomed the change in Denmark. Wolves faced centuries of persecution and their reappearance remains a divisive issue. Farmers have expressed concerns over livestock and during the winter months there were reports of wolves killing sheep.

In response, the Danish government has worked alongside hunters, farmers and conservationists to draw up a wolf management plan, which includes funding for wolf-proof fencing and compensation for loss of livestock.

Image: Arantza Ansotegui


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  • Mitchell Gertken

    I’m glad you included more than one side of this issue; much as it’s encouraging to see sites with native animal populations brought back to their former splendor, each situation can come with its own downsides. I’ve heard a good few discussions on wolf populations from my father, regarding the effects they can have on local fauna (deer and elk especially).

    (also i don’t mean to be that guy but it says ‘wold management plan’ instead of ‘wolf management plan’ just so you know if you care about that sort of thing i’m not trying to be a jerk)

  • Thanks for this article! I live in Denmark & saw on a wolf tracking map that some of the wolves have been spotted near us. I think it’s wonderful that they’re back in Denmark & am really thrilled that they may be in our surrounding forests but I’m not sure if want them in our back garden.

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