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First wolves arrive

Wolves released into the Parc National du Mercantour

Only an hour from the coast but some 20 degrees colder, the first wolves arrived at the new snowy sanctuary in Boréon yesterday. The Riviera Times was among the international press group invited to witness the release of some ten wolves into their new habitat after a long journey from Prague. More wolves are set to arrive from other countries in January and February next year, while the wolf centre is not due to open until April. The centre is the result of ten years hard work by the Mayor of Saint Martin Vésubie, Gaston Franco, and aims to educate people about the wolf, often portrayed solely as an evil predator by farmers, and to also study the wolves behaviour in this new natural habitat.

Visitors will be able to observe the wolves from various viewing points around the sanctuary, and there will also be a chance to learn about the history of the wolf, and what the wolf means to various people in the community through a spectacular cinevision centre, the only wolf centre to possess such technology in France.

The Conseil Général des Alpes-Maritimes, the Conseil Régional Provence, Alpes, Côte d’Azur, the Ministère de l’Environnement and the Parc National du Mercantour have financed the construction of the sanctuary.