A female wolf has been hit and killed by a Rhaetian Railways train in southeastern Switzerland, local officials have announced.
The accident, north of Bonaduzexternal link, canton Graubünden, happened on New Year’s Eve but was only announced by the cantonal authorities on Friday.
The canton has three confirmed wolf packs, with the status of a further one currently unclear.
It is not yet clear to which wolf pack the animal belonged. The body is currently undergoing genetic testing at the University of Bern pathology institute, a statement saidexternal link.
This is not the first time a wolf has been involved in a traffic accident in Graubünden. Six animals died this way in 2019.
There were two separate incidents on December 26 and 27external link. On this occasion, the canton said it was likely that wolves would be approaching settled areas due to the snow, which forces them to look for food lower down in the valley. This means they may try to cross roads or walk along railway tracks.
The number of wolves is on the rise in Switzerland. According to the latest figures from the Swiss Wolf Group, there are at least seven wolf packs in the country, compared with four in 2018. This means there are now an estimated 60-70 wolves in Switzerland.