In search of Geralt the wolf

In late February and early March, we headed east in search of Geralt the wolf, whose GPS collar stopped sending location data at the end of January.

We recently decided to once again search the area around Geralt’s last locations in the Hrubieszow area (above. Mircze) near Poland’s eastern border with Ukraine. As we wrote earlier, the collar data indicated that Geralt was either dead or that the collar had fallen off him. We searched the area thoroughly for several days, hoping to at least find the collar. Unfortunately, without success.

During the search, we received information about a dead wolf, without a collar, found near Hrebenne (70km further south). We went to the place and the finders, who turned out to be antler collectors (many thanks for their involvement, help and time!), who quickly and efficiently led us to the remains. Unfortunately, in the meantime, someone had cut off the dead wolf’s skull (we remind you that it is illegal to possess parts of protected animals!). It was therefore impossible to assess the age of the wolf, and the feeding of mammals and birds on the carcass made it impossible to determine the sex. There wasn’t much left of the wolf, but fortunately it was possible to collect a sample for genetic testing. After comparing this wolf’s DNA with Geralt’s genetic profile, we will find out if this was our missing wolf.

We decided to combine our stay in Zamość with our educational campaign. We met with employees of the Mircze Forest District and school children. A very interesting experience for us was a meeting organized by the Polish Hunting Association and the Zamość Academy. In the unique atmosphere of Zamość’s old town, we tried to introduce the audience to the biology of wolves and show that wolves are not scary beasts lurking in our lives. Interestingly, after our factual lecture and discussions about wolf numbers, the listeners agreed that the information appearing here and there about wolf densities reaching 40 individuals/km2 comes from the world of fairy tales!

On the occasion of public meetings with residents, we gave several interviews to local media, including Radio ESKA, Tygodnik Zamojski, Kronika Tygodnia and TVP3 Lublin. We hope that the news about Geralt and his disappearance will spread and give us answers as to what happened to him. In addition, we tried to allay viewers’ doubts about living in the vicinity of wolves and explain that the predators seen in the area do not pose a threat to them.

Although the trip in search of Geralt was fruitful in several respects, unfortunately it did not end with the unraveling of the mystery of our wolf’s disappearance. Nor did we find the collar, which is valuable to us for two reasons. First, it contains data that can only be recovered by connecting the collar directly to a computer. And second, we could reuse it to monitor the life of another wolf. We therefore appeal to anyone who comes across information about a wolf with a collar or the collar itself to contact our Foundation. We offer a reward for finding one!

* Geralt is a wolf native to the Świetokrzyska Forest, who, in search of a mate and a place to live, migrated to Ukraine and then settled in the Lublin Province. He wore a GPS collar transmitting location data to us, which was funded by Vanity Style.

Author: Roman Gula