A Rural Viewpoint On Wolf Reintroduction And Protection
Starving wolves kill six Afghan villagersBy Tom Coghlan in Logar (Filed: 12/03/2005)
At least six people in remote Afghan villages have been killed bywolves descending from the hills to escape hunger in the country'sworst winter in 15 years.
In Altamur Sham Shirhil, an unremarkable collection of mud brickhouses perched where the plains south of Kabul rise into theSpin Gar mountains, villagers told of the day when six-year-old Abdullahlost his life.
His uncle, Noor, gestured towards the snowbound peaks of Spin Gar,where Logar province in south eastern Afghanistan meets Pakistan.
"Abdullah went to search for firewood in the mountains. A man fromour village found the remains of his body in the evening. Wolves hadkilled him."
Abdullah, the younger son of a landless labourer called Waqeel, diedthree weeks ago.
His relatives said it was the first such attack on anyone from thevillage. "The wolves bit his neck and ate his stomach," said theboy's uncle with disgust.
Wolves are known to come into remote villages at night during thewinter months. But they have recently attacked livestock indaylight and even seized livestock from inside the houses, workingin packs of up to half a dozen.
"Four days ago some wolves attacked our sheep at noon, just next tothe village. There were four men with the sheep but the wolvesdidn't care," said Noor.
Like all villages in rural Afghanistan, Altamur is protected at nightby mastiff guard dogs. However, several have been killed in thelast month by the wolves.
"When the wolves have a female with them they make a pack and thenthey are fearless," said one man.
He said that the wolves killed two goats inside his house andterrified his family.
Two miles away in Jawzar another fatal wolf attack was reported thiswinter when the body of a travelling merchant was found partlydevoured near the village.