Wolf Found Hanged From Traffic Lights

A wolf found hanged from traffic lights in Spain is just the latest incidence of increased violence against the animals as their numbers swell.


The foundation for the Wild Animals Protection of Asturias reported the macabre find on the road between the towns of San Martin and La Riera, in the northern Spanish region of Asturias.


A picture shows the large grey wolf tied by its neck to the post supporting the traffic signal, with its back legs just able to touch the ground.


A spokesman for the organisation said: "The wolf was bleeding and was already dead, but it is believed that the animal had only recently been killed."


The body of the wolf was taken down by authorities and transferred to the nearby rural development department’s offices for an autopsy to be performed.


The local government said it regretted the incident and described it as illegal.  Wolves are a protected species whose breeding and welfare is closely monitored as they return to the wild in Spain in increasing numbers.


A local ecological organisation in the region blamed illegal hunters and called for a crackdown on the killers.


But it believes that officials often turn a blind eye to hunters. Dead wolves have shown up in places as varied as city centre office buildings and outside supermarkets.


Two dead wolves were discovered in the car park area of a supermarket in the town of Arriondas in Asturias several weeks ago.


According to local media, six wolves were also found beheaded.


Local media recently reported that the number of wolves in Spain has increased dramatically, causing damage to crops and livestock.


According to farmers, 7,500 cattle were attacked by wolves last year in eight Spanish regions.


In Asturias, where the hanged wolf was found, there were 2,116 attacks according to official statistics.