Shepherds from around Kayaköy are appealing to the authorities to help them after more attacks on their animals, which they claim are being carried out by a pack of wolves.

According to the most recent incident reported in the Gerçek Fethiye newspaper, nine sheep were killed and another nine were injured.

Local shepherds Erkan Karaca and Derya Karaca are both quoted, claiming there have been a number of similar incidents in the area over recent years.

However, despite pleas for help, no one has been able to offer any advice on how to control what they claim is a pack of wolves, preying on sheep and goats around the Kaya valley.

Expert opinion

Both say their income has been hit hard by their losses and they fear shepherding is becoming almost impossible in the area while the wolves remain at large.

They also expressed concern about the potential danger wolves may present to people living in the area.

The article quotes local vet Halil Yumrucu who is reported to have confirmed that sheep he has examined have had wounds around their throats with other evidence to suggest they were attacked by a large predator.

A rare sighting

An image snatched in the forest around Kayaköy in early April by local Can Tekin which shows what is thought to be one of the wolves living in the area.

Although rare in Turkey, it is not impossible that Anatolian grey wolves are living in the forest around Kayaköy.

The animals are an intrinsic part of Turkish folklore, traditionally symbolising patriotism and loyalty.

However, more recently, the grey wolf has become associated with the activities of a Turkish nationalist movement founded in the 1960s, active both at home and abroad.

There are thought to be around 7,000 animals still living in the wild, with the grey wolf given game status in Turkey in 2003, which means they can only be hunted by those who have been granted a special licence.

It also means no compensation is offered to shepherds who lose livestock to wolves.