WOLVES IN ITALY?
Hello all you fine people out there!
I pray this week brought you some beauty and peace and a step closer in your journey with the Lord Jesus Christ here on this earth!
Speaking of this earth I was surprised to recently learn that the country of Italy is home to a variety of wildlife one may not think would be found there. Italy is usually associated with pizza and lasagna, Venice and boats, beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean, the remains of Pompeii, the
Colosseum, and a boot shaped peninsula on the map. What doesn’t usually come to mind are wolves, unless you live there. But for the rest of the world, yes you heard right, wolves roam free in northern Italy.
|National Parks of Italy|
The wolf actually, has a long history in Italy. If you recall your mythology of this region (or maybe it’s just me that has forgotten, ha ha), a she-wolf rescued Romulus and Remus, and when they grew up they started Rome and unified Italy.
Then there is the legend from the city of Gubbio in which “a man eating wolf was tamed by St. Francis of Assisi who then became a docile resident of the city. The legend is related in
the 14th-century Little Flowers of St. Francis.”1
|Romulus and Remus and the she wolf|
Today the country really isn’t an official national animal (national animals, flowers etc are more of an American thing) but the unofficial “national” animal of Italy is the Italian wolf. It was chosen to represent the entire country by depicting it as a protector of other lands and because of the legends and myths.
|ST. Francis of Assisi and the tamed wolf|
“The Italian wolf is considered a subspecies of the gray wolf. It is also known as the Apennine Wolf, as it is found throughout the Apennine Mountains of Italy. It was first described in 1921 and recognized as a distinct subspecies in 1999. Recently due to an increase in population, the subspecies has also been spotted in areas of Switzerland… and have also established themselves in Southern France, particularly in the Parc National du Mercantour. It is federally protected in all three countries.
The Italian Wolf is a medium wolf. Male Italian Wolves have an average weight of 24 – 40 kilograms (53 – 88 pounds), with females usually being 10% lighter. The body length of the Italian Wolf is usually 100 – 140 centimetres (39 – 55 inches). Their fur colour is commonly blended grey or brown, though black specimens have recently been sighted in the Mugello region and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.
The Italian Wolf is a nocturnal hunter which feeds primarily on medium sized animals such as Chamois, Roe Deer, Red Deer and Wild Boar. In the absence of such prey items, its diet will also include small animals such as hares and rabbits. An Italian wolf can eat up to 1,5 – 3 kilograms of meat a day. The Italian Wolf will occasionally consume berries and herbs for roughage. It has adapted well in some urbanised areas and as such, will usually not ignore refuse or domestic animals.”2
If you want to get a chance to see these animals, the National Park of Gran Sasso-Laga in Abruzzo is recommended.
|Abruzzo Mountain, Italy|
Until next week, take some time to enjoy God’s beautiful creation, and who know, you just might spot a wolf or two!
By Stefano di Giovanni - http://www.sandrobotticelli.org/painting-SASSETTA-The%20Legend%20of%20the%20Wolf%20of%20Gubbio-42835.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15186631
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