Greece plans more patrols after suspected wolf attack

Officials in Greece are stepping up patrols and launching a public information campaign following a suspected wolf attack on a dog at a popular mountain refuge near Athens.

The measures were agreed at a meeting late Monday between environment ministry officials and Greek wildlife group Callisto, a ministry document seen by AFP said.

They acted following an incident last Thursday when what appeared to be a wolf attacked a family outside the Bafi refuge on Mount Parnitha, some 36 kilometres (22 miles north of the capital).

Radio producer Nikos Nikolakopoulos told Mega TV that a “black wolf” had grabbed the family’s four-month-old puppy by the throat as they walked in the car park of the refuge, before carrying it off into the forest.

The Callisto wildlife group says some two dozen wolves are believed to live in the Parnitha national park.

“The reappearance of wolves in Parnitha after a 50-year-period was scientifically confirmed in 2015,” Callisto communication officer Georgios Theodoridis told AFP.

Even though it is a popular destination for weekend outings few people seemed to be aware of their presence, despite the group having repeatedly warned park officials, he added.

Callisto said in a statement it had sent its latest warning memo to the Parnitha park management agency in December.

Greece has requested additional funding from the European Union for cameras and fencing, the ministry document said.

The wolf population in Greece is estimated at between 700 and 1,000, situated in most of the Greek mainland. They are considered a protected species in the country.