Closely observed wolves in Šumava
The Czech Republic’s biggest national park Šumava has recently opened a wolf observation site at its new visitor centre in the town of Srní. The park’s management wants to get the public more used to the former inhabitants of the local forests, hoping that the public exposure to the wolves will help erode some of the ingrained prejudices against them.
Now, visitors to the Šumava National Park have a chance to hear the typical wolf howl again. A new centre dedicated to the once common predators opened this Friday, offering people a unique chance to observe wolves in their natural habitat. Josef Štemberk works as a guide in the national park:
“Wolves used to be very important predators in Šumava and we try to introduce them as former inhabitants of the mountains as well as animals which can live side by side with people.
The wolf pair, Pandora and Greg, were introduced to the enclosure in February this year, and four cubs were born three months later. The pack of wolves are enclosed on a 35 hectare site comprising forest and rocks, but according to Mr Štemberk, visitors still have a good chance of spotting the animals, since they have already got used to people’s presence.
Wolves are said to have inhabited the Šumava mountains roughly until the mid-18th century and the park management is now hoping that one day, the predators will make their comeback. Josef Štemberk again:
“As we know, there are currently no wolves settled in the Šumava mountains but we have some tracks and other signs that one or two wolves occasionally cross the mountains, but they probably don’t find enough space or silence to settle down.
The wolf visitor centre in Srní will be open throughout the whole year, with the exception of April.