Wolves had escaped from a zoo in the Tarn: they will not ultimately be transferred elsewhere

Justice has partially suspended the decree of the Tarn prefecture requesting the transfer of a breed of wolf to a park other than the Zoo des felins des Trois Vallées.

A pack of nine wolves had left their enclosure at night, on December 19, 2021, in the Zoo-parc des felins des Trois Vallées in Montredon-Labessonnié, in the Tarn near Castres. Four wolves were shot and five euthanized after this incident.

From then on, the park was closed administratively, then the Tarn prefecture took the decision on May 9, 2022 to transfer the two breeds of wolves sheltered in the zoo to other more suitable structures in France. An order which was challenged by the Zoo-parc des felins des Trois Vallées before having partially won its case by the judge in chambers on Monday, June 13.

Some wolves stay in the Tarn

The decree of the prefecture required the transfer of the wolves from Europe on May 30, 2022, the animals therefore moved to a park in Morbihan. Facts on which justice has not returned.

On the other hand, the Tarn zoo also had to say goodbye to its Hudson Bay wolves before August 31, which may not ultimately take place. The judge in chambers decided to suspend the decree of the prefecture concerning these animals.

It was pointed out there a “lack of control of reproduction within the pack”, a diving vision in the enclosure “which is not recommended for large carnivores” or even “the isolation of a blind wolf”. But the administrative court of Toulouse explains that the elements collected by the prefecture of Tarn and by the report of a “wolf commission” are not sufficient to justify the mistreatment of the pack of wolves from Hudson Bay in this park.

The judge in chambers also considered that the transfer of these animals was “likely to involve risks related to their capture and their transport, as well as the fragmentation of the pack envisaged by the prefectural decree”.

Already a closure in 2020

The zoo had already been subject to an administrative closure in 2020, by ministerial order, for “major shortcomings” in the safety of animals, staff and visitors. Less than a month later, the prefectural decree which condemned the park was suspended by the administrative court of Toulouse.

The Three Valleys Zoo-Feline Park extends over 60 hectares where around 600 animals and 70 different species are housed.

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