The big Dutch five

You don’t need to go to Africa to spot impressive wildlife you know. Oh no. We in the Netherlands have got our own Big Five. This is the list according to the national forestry commission.

Who needs elephants and lions?

Who needs elephants and lions?

1. Seal

2. Red deer

3. Beaver

4. Wild boar

5. Roe deer

We should point out thousands of boar get shot every year because, say some experts, there are just too many of them. But those that do venture outside Limburg and the Veluwe looking for new pastures to rootle around in get shot as well because they are not allowed to spread. See nine national parks and one nature reserve.

The same is true for the deer. Drenthe has an official policy to shoot all deer and boar crossing the provincial line to head off damage to crops and potential traffic accidents. Utrecht
thinks the same and in Gelderland there was a big row when the provincial authorities said they planned to shoot red deer that had the audacity to use a wildlife bridge over a busy motorway.

So much for three of the big five then.

The beaver is part of a reintroduction programme which began in 2008 and seems to be doing well. So well, in fact, that some people are complaining that the beavers are damaging waterways and action needs to be taken to curb their spread.

We think the fact that the wolf is on its way back to the Netherlands should take care of all this.

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