Hunter and former police officer Boris is also known as a “wolf doctor”: “There have never been more of them in Croatia! They also run around houses, their mixed races walk into villages, slaughter cattle. They fear no man!”
Boris Katić from Split is known throughout Croatia as an excellent veterinarian, former police officer, and water polo player, passionate hunter, but lately probably mostly as ‘wolf doctor’.
And this beast has spread so much in our country in recent years that it has almost become a domestic animal. Livestock breeders complain, farmers complain, as well as foresters, biologists, mountaineers. There are so many wolves that the exact number is unknown, so Katic and his team, more than 500 of them, set out to list every individual and every pack. A real wolf list.
And with their partial monitoring, they have already refuted the data available to the state and its competent services on some maximum 180, one more or less.
AND THE MUP IS RECORDING
»We never had more wolves in Croatia, but also wolf mixes. It has not been hunted for eight years, there is no quota, the hunting season is total, plus we are just as free from rabies. This zoonosis used to affect a large part of the wolf population, as well as foxes, martens, bears, badgers. The wolf was also a vector for humans. In the same eight years, we were without monitoring by the state, at least an attempt to reach the number. People from the state in charge of the wolf have lost touch with the people, with hunters, foresters, mountaineers, an ugly story has been created where, in addition to healthy eyes, they try to convince us that this is not the case” openly says Dr. Katić.
As there was no other, the enthusiasts took matters into their own hands or, as our interlocutor says, the technique happened to the people. 62,000 hunters gathered in the largest civic association in the Republic of Croatia, other professions joined and cameras networked the entire country. And already now, after half of the research and the collection of hundreds and thousands of videos, photos, and other documents, we came to the information that there could be twice as many wolves in Croatia as the state claims.
“The real number is 300 plus. It is not below that, there can only be more than 350 of them. I am talking about our monitoring, without data from police surveillance cameras placed at the borders to monitor migrant routes and other illegal entries. These data, when we get them soon, will give an even truer picture to the people in the ministries. If they don’t believe us about what we claim, at least they will to the Ministry of the Interior” says Katic.
How much things got out of control, perhaps the most telling comparison with the surrounding countries, but also the rest of the European Union. Slovenians, for example, catch 10-15 percent of this predator every year, while meticulous Scandinavians have strictly limited their quota in terms of area and population.
ASSOCIATED WITH DOGS
“Sweden, which is five times bigger than us and has twice the population, as well as incomparably more deer game than us, made a decision in its parliament that there can be 300 wolves in the entire country. That is why wolves have multiplied, and their cattle are often “please”. I would say that opportunity gives birth to thieves” says Katic.
Today, the wolf has spread throughout Croatia. It is no longer just Lika, Gorski kotar and Dalmatian hinterland, but they crossed Učka and came to the Lim channel and near Pula, near Tuhelj in Hrvatsko zagorje two were filmed in broad daylight, just like near Brezovica or Turopolje near Zagreb, to does not talk about Petrinja, Sisak, Požega, Slavonski Brod, Ilok …
“Until only five years ago, we officially spoke and taught that the wolf lives on an area of 20 thousand square kilometers, but now it is already 25,000, if not more. Our additional problem is mixed wolves. The cameras filmed them together with wolf packs, how they hunt, eat and live together around Serbs, Lapac, Mazin, Gračac, Udbina, all the way to Otočac, that is, where Croatia is deserted, households are extinguished, and dogs are allowed to wander. That’s why we have a kangal in a wolf pack, a German shepherd as well. Wolves receive them, especially females if they have lost an alpha wolf. The problem is that we will lose the pure wolf genome, as happened to us in Slavonia and Baranja with wild boars. And that degeneration is best seen by the fact that the wolf has never attacked during the day before, and now its mixed breeds, which are essentially 50 percent dogs, walk into villages and settlements, slaughter cattle, instead of going into the wild, forest, mountains. They are not afraid of man” warns the Croatian wolf doctor.
THERE ARE FIVE SOLUTIONS
“We have been living with the wolf since ancient times, he has always been a symbol of freedom, so we sing songs to him. It’s time to wish the wolf well, not to condemn him, not to hunt him down, not to make him disappear. He is one link in the natural chain and as such, he saved Lika and Dalmatia from mixed wild boars when there was a war and people let white pigs roam. We are grateful to him for being a good cleaner in nature and not a vulture-like jackal. If we do not do something urgently, we will have more and more cases where individuals will use poisons even more and thus harm not only wolves but also bears, lynxes that we have barely restored with “blood from the Carpathians” warns Katic.
The plan was reduced to five points.
“The first thing is to list the actual number so that we know what we are on, but it is certainly not these 160, 180, and especially not 220, as unofficially it is heard that the state might want. If so, then it is best to declare us the Zoo of Europe and turn all the inhabitants into rangers on the budget of Brussels. When we list them, the next step is to determine the quota, taking into account some regional specifics, because the wolf is not the same for people in Lika or Dalmatia. Then there would be the protection of the real wolf with the shooting of mixed breeds, which harm them in every way anyway. Then we will be able to live with the wolf and we will not have cases of them running around our houses in Sinj, Trilj” said Dr. Boris Katic.