Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Fears As Predator Returns To Europe

The wolf has returned to Germany and along with it, ages old fears. But these worries are unfounded, argues Italian biologist Luigi Boitani, who has studied the creature’s return across Europe

After earning a degree in biology, Luigi Boitani, 69, had intended to devote himself to the study of the Montecristo goat. But then a colleague asked him for his help on a wolf project. That was more than 40 years ago.

Since then, he has never lost his fascination for the predator. Boitani, who teaches at the Sapienza University of Rome, has monitored the return of wolves to many European countries. As chairman of the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe in the International Union for Conservation of Nature, he advises the European Commission on how to protect the predators and how coexistence with wolves can succeed.

He has published more than 300 scientific papers, especially on predators like the wolf, brown bear, lynx and wolverine.

SPIEGEL recently interviewed Boitani about fears in Europe as the wolf returns to its former habitats…


  • dance…dancetotheradio

    What Would Luigi Boitani Do?

    • andycanuck

      Beat me to the South Park reference.

  • Bataviawillem

    What are these wolves going to eat?

    • andycanuck

      Silver bullets in Romania!

    • DavidinNorthBurnaby

      It would be funny if one ate Luigi.

    • Maggat


  • andycanuck

    How do you get the “sporadics” in the middle of France not attached to an area with “permanent” populations? Did the fly in?

    • Minicapt

      Probably ‘sporadic sightings’ as the wolves venture away from their permanent habitats.


  • Xavier

    So Luigi, why were they driven out in the first place?

  • David

    Go wolves.