Oberwil, 11.06.2024

So it wasn't a wolf

A dead deer that had possibly been attacked was found in a meadow in Oberwil b. Zug on Monday morning. Was it the wolf from Blasenberg?

"It's a strange feeling. You feel uncomfortable": a dead deer with bite marks on its neck was found on the Bröchli farm in Oberwil near Zug on Monday morning - and farmer Andrea Iten is worried. "Of course, the Blasenberg case immediately comes to mind, that was my first reflex," she continues.

The background: on 18 November 2024, a wolf had killed 14 sheep in Blasenberg. So was this another wolf, or even the same one?

This deer was lying in a meadow near the Bröchli farm in Oberwil b. Zug.          Photo: Reader reporter

Andrea Iten can only speculate about this at the moment. "Wolves move around a lot in a short space of time, and we don't know where the wolf from Blasenberg is at the moment." Perhaps DNA traces will clarify what happened to the deer from Bröchli. According to Andrea Iten, the game warden (Wildhüter) was on site early on Monday morning and took DNA traces. "It’s not certain whether these can still be used, however, as the heavy rain has severely blurred the traces," she adds. It’s also not certain whether the roebuck was really killed by an animal. "The little buck is very skinny, perhaps it was ill and died of weakness and was then eaten by foxes."

Perhaps it was foxes
But the game warden found scraps of skin torn away from the snout of the dead deer, "which is not typical for a fox". Another atypical finding for a wolf would be that the deer may have been dragged from further up the slope towards the farmyard, as the tracks in the grass would suggest. "A wolf would probably not take a killed animal towards the village, but towards the mountain."

In the meantime, precautionary measures are being taken at the Bröchli farm, where the Iten family keep goats and chickens. Andrea Iten says: "We're not letting our animals out at the moment anyway because of the wet weather, but we'll keep them closer to the farm in the next few days. We still have an uneasy feeling."

Later on Monday afternoon, the game warden gave the all-clear: "We assume that the deer died of natural causes. It was lean and weak and may only have been attacked by a fox or another wild animal after it had died. It was therefore very unlikely to have been killed by a wolf. In addition, experience shows that a wolf would drag a killed individual animal to a quiet place, to eat it there," said the Zug game warden on enquiry.