Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
An incredible sequence of images showing a wildcat mother keeping a wolf at bay to protect her kittens has been caught on camera apparently for the first time.
The standoff took place in the Colbitz – Letzlinger Heide, which is a heather area between the regions of Altmark and Elbe-Boerde-Heide, in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, north of the city of Magdeburg.
The images show a wildcat that has made a home for itself and its kittens in a hollowed-out log in the forest. At one point a large wolf showed up, but the feline stood her ground and ferociously protected her babies, the wolf moved away.
Newsflash contacted the German Wildlife Foundation who gave us permission to use their footage. Malte Goetz, a wildcat expert for the foundation, said: “The pictures of our camera are causing a little sensation. The willingness of a wildcat to face the wolf for its young was documented for the first time.”
Goetz also said: “The video was created as part of a wildcat telemetry study at the northern distribution range of the species in Germany. Here, the German Wildlife Foundation examines the habitat requirements of wild cats in heather landscapes and floodplains far from forested low mountain regions. Both study areas have been recolonised by wolves for about 10 years.
“The female, dubbed “F1”, gave birth to her kittens in the middle of an open heather area. After a few days, the mother and her family moved into the forest where a hollow tree trunk on the ground was used for shelter over weeks.
“Camera traps set up at different angles were used to determine the number of cubs and to observe the hiding place.”