I had the opportunity to visit La Garenne in the Jura mountains of Switzerland earlier this year. The zoo takes in and treats hundreds of injured wild animals, with most released back into the Swiss countryside. It also participates in breeding and reintroduction programmes. The focus is on animals which are native to the region, and this includes lynx, wolves, and boar which were once native to Britain too. In the Jura mountains, all three are now present in the wild to varying degrees, either by deliberate reintroduction or after recolonising the region from refuges elsewhere.
In Britain, boar have already escaped back into the wild from farms, and there are rewilding groups working to reintroduce lynx in several parts of the UK and even wolves in Scotland. All three have implications, some very positive, for woodland and so it was fascinating to see them up close, in another landscape they are native to.
This first picture shows about half of the three hectare site, with the wolf enclosure in the centre.
The following pictures show wolves, lynx, bearded vultures, eagle owls, goats, and wild boar.
Finally here are three short videos of lynx and wolves: