European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s 30-year-old horse ‘Dolly’ died after being bitten by a wolf. The incident occurred near his estate in Beinhorn, near Hanover, Germany. According to a report of the Russian news media RT, he received this news on Friday.
The local mayor blamed the state environment ministry’s inaction for the incident. Earlier, the minister asked the federal authorities in Berlin to relax the rules on shooting wolves. Because wolves often get too close to people or livestock.
Von der Leyen’s spokesman told the Allgemeine Zeitung (HAZ) in Hanover on Friday: ‘The whole family is terribly upset by the news. Von der Leyen’s husband was the first to see the dead horse in the morning.’
Christian Budde, spokesman for Hannover’s environment ministry, said the bite appeared to be a wolf attack. DNA samples have been taken to identify the culprit. Two horses were killed in a wolf attack in nearby Lehart about two weeks ago.
Beinhorn mayor Klaus Köneke expressed regret for the ‘unfortunate’ incident. But Bud’s boss blamed Lower Saxony’s environment minister, Olaf Lies. The ministry told Koene they did nothing after a stray wolf was caught in Hanover in mid-August.
But the environment minister said the federal government needs to create a legal framework to solve the problem. In northern German states, wolves are moving too close to humans and livestock. However, because of federal laws protecting endangered species, direct shooting of wolves is not regulated.
Von der Leyen’s family has been on an estate near Hanover for decades. Here they also have horses. He served as a federal cabinet minister for about 15 years. Later he also worked in the Ministry of Labor and Defense. He has been serving as the President of the European Commission since July 2019.