• Austria's news in English

Fritzi the wolf still on the loose in Styria

The Local · 5 Aug 2015, 10:49

Published: 05 Aug 2015 10:49 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The wolf has been roaming around the St. Margarethen area and has been spotted near houses, farms and children’s playgrounds.

One-year-old Fritzi is said to have a shy and peaceful nature, but experts warn that he is still a wild animal and could pose a threat to humans, especially if he has not eaten properly for a few days.

Because of this, zoo keepers are stepping up efforts to get the wolf to return to his home as soon as possible.

Fritzi escaped from his enclosure in Styria when a violent thunderstorm washed away the plates on the floor which prevent the animals from burrowing into the ground. The crafty wolf then dug an escape tunnel and broke out from his enclosure.

His keepers had originally hoped that he would come back on his own, but soon realised he was enjoying his freedom too much. They have been setting traps baited with his favourite food to try and recapture him. But so far Fritzi has not been playing ball and experts think his recent discovery of a chicken farm may be why he is not responding to the bait.

Sonja Gollenz, who works at the Wilder Berg zoo where Fritzi is from, said that wolves do not need to eat every day. Instead they tend to gorge for a day until they are completely full, and can then go another couple of days before they need to eat again.

Keepers have also attempted to entice Fritzi by adding his sister Julia's scent to the food traps by putting her faeces inside them, in the hope was that this familiar scent would attract Fritzi to the traps. But so far he seems unimpressed by what they hoped would be an irresistible combination.

On Tuesday, Plan B was put into action - an attempt to anaesthetise Fritzi. Retired vet Joseph Cain lay in wait for him all night on the roof of a house near to the wolf’s favourite snack bar - the chicken farm.

But Cain’s rifle, loaded with a dart, only has a range of 20-30m, and he couldn't get close enough to the wolf to target him.

If attempts to capture Fritzi continue to fail and he becomes a threat to humans, then there will be no choice but to shoot him, experts have said. They will first have to seek permission from the mayor before doing this, and have stressed that this is a last resort.

Story continues below…

By Claire Caruth.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian police rescue 47 puppies from animal smuggler
Photo: Landespolizeidirektion Burgenland

Austrian police have seized 47 puppies found in a car at the Hungarian border.

Call for FPÖ chief's Facebook page to be shut
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The Austrian lawyer who filed a criminal case against the leader of the Freedom Party for inciting hatred has called for his Facebook page to be shut down.

Female terror suspect 'planned suicide attack'
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Police have arrested the wife of a Chechen terror suspect after they found evidence that the pair were planning a suicide attack in Austria.

'Death must be Viennese', and not just at Halloween
Prater amusement features memento mori. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Dominik Creazzi, "Paranormal Investigator" embossed on his jacket, strains his ears among the decaying tombstones of Vienna's central cemetery, the last resting place of three million mortals from Beethoven to "Rock Me Amadeus" singer Falco.

ECJ puts brakes on deportation of Iraqi family
Photo: ORF

An Iraqi family threatened with deportation has been granted a brief reprieve after the European Court of Justice recommended they be allowed to stay in Austria for the time being.

Flats evacuated after man swallows explosive substance
A decontamination squad was ordered in. Photo: MA 68 Lichtbildstelle

A block of flats in Vienna had to be evacuated after a suicidal resident swallowed a highly toxic and explosive substance.

'Horror clown' threatens bus driver in Vienna's Donaustadt
Pennywise, the original scary clown from the movie It. Photo: Warner Bros

A man disguised as a ‘horror clown’ threatened a bus driver in Vienna’s Donaustadt district and vandalised the bus.

Man lived with body of murdered lover for weeks

A man has been arrested in Graz after police discovered the body of his girlfriend hidden in the shower cubicle of their rented apartment.

Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available