The Monte Adone Centre for Conservation and Research of Exotic and Wild Fauna is a non-profit organization focused on rehabilitating any injured wildlife in the Bologna province of Italy.
One morning in January, they were notified of an injured wolf in the icy waters of a river. They went to his aid and found his condition dire. He had been shot. With his hind legs paralyzed, he was severely malnourished and in danger of starvation or hypothermia. Without their intervention, he surely would have died.
It was a prolonged rehabilitation. His condition was so serious, they had to be very hands-on. Once he had regained mobility and could restore his strength on his own, they were able to move him to a private enclosure. There, they were able to monitor his progress and keep him safe without further acclimating him to human contact.
The wolf population in Italy is strictly protected. In the 1970s, a survey estimated that the population of this subspecies of grey wolf had decreased to less than 100 individuals. Since protective legislation was put in place, that population has increased, but still only numbered about 500 in 2005. They have also begun to expand their range and have been spotted in France and Switzerland. While some sheep herders may cringe at the potential for increased loss of livestock, many applaud this growth in the wolf population.
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