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Wolf appears on the slopes at French Alps ski resort
Photo: Screengrab - France3

Wolf appears on the slopes at French Alps ski resort

The Local · 3 Mar 2016, 12:30

Published: 03 Mar 2016 12:30 GMT+01:00

Skiing at the Fontcouverte-la-Toussuire resort in the Savoy region of the French Alps, was a little more risky than usual this week, thanks to the presence of a wolf on the slopes.

Stephen Darve, who works at the ski resort, had just begun his working day at 9:30am and was probably expecting it to be a day like any other. But as he settled into his post at the top of the chairlift, he saw a large, dark animal making its way along the slopes.

At first, Darve thought it was simply a rather large dog, and wondered how it had got onto the slopes. But when he looked more closely, he realized that in fact he was looking not at a dog, but at one of its rarer, slightly more savage relatives. 

Rather than being scared off by the sight of the wolf, he observed it for around ten minutes as it explored the resort, and even took several snaps of the beast. 

Locals had suspected the wolf's existence in the area for several years, but until last week its presence was a mere rumour. The ski resort is located close to the natural reserve Saint-Alban-des-Villards so it is likely that its made its way over from there.

Wolves enjoy protected status in France, which has angered farmers whose animals have fallen victim to wolf attacks, but skiiers interviewed by France 3 did not seem afraid of the big bad wolf.

One young boy said that if he had been the one to sight the animal, he "would have taken a selfie", whilst a woman said "it's cool. I'm not scared".

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