Grey wolf Paris
© AFP
There's strong evidence the European grey wolf is edging closer to Paris surburbs.

Parisians are frightened that the endangered beasts are now within howling distance of the capital and can't be stopped

French people have been told not to fear wolves roaming Paris streets - as "they only eat four-legged animals".

Parisians are frightened that the endangered beasts - which have fought back from near extinction in the 1930s - are now within howling distance of the capital.

Indeed the discovery of paw prints, messy droppings and late-night howls from wolves - a distant relative of the domestic pet dog- are reported to be a now frequent occurrence in the city's suburbs.

While they are known to normally hunt in packs - when they are notoriously most dangerous - only lone wolves have been spotted so far wandering its streets.

Experts and eyewitnesses claim they are freely roaming French 'departments' (an administrative district) of Yvelines and Essone in Île-de-France - which overlaps with the Paris metropolitan area in the south and west - at night.

Warnings were first made last year when a lone wolf was spotted prowling just 200 miles from Paris - when an expert was quick to point out that they can cover 300 miles in a DAY on foot.

The Local reports that the president of the wolf-watching group Alliance Avec Les Loups, Manoël Atman, said: "We are certain that there are three in circulation since April last year, one couple and another lone wolf."

Attempting to reassure Parisians, the wolf-watcher was keen to stress: "These kinds of animals aren't interested in eating people. We walk on two legs, they only eat four-legged animals."

Two deer carcasses were discovered in the Rambouillet Forest to the south-west of Paris.

Mr Atman said: "Their spinal columns were broken, they weren't shot or hit in a collision."

He said that their internal organs had been eaten, adding: "This is typical of the predatory habits of wolves."
wolf attacks
© AP
There have been reports of wolves attack deer - and eating their internal organs

The wolves are feared to be making the capital their new home now - where they are likely to prove a challenge for the urban fox who, as in the UK, have nestled in urban environments.

Larger and fiercer than their canine cousins, it's feared the wolves will shun them out.

The wolves' natural habitat is the French Alps and the Massif Central where they were hunted to near extinction in the 1930s.

They were awarded special protection as an endangered species - meaning nothing can be done to curb their numbers to halt their spread.

That measure has helped their numbers recover - but is what is being blamed for them encroaching on the capital.
wolves roaming Paris
© Reuters
Wolves are most dangerous in packs - but only lone wolves have been spotted so far

The Observatoire Du Loup group told Le Parisien newspaper about wolf sightings in Essonne and Yvelines - and another to the east in Seine-et-Marne.

They have collected paw prints and wolf droppings after locals reported having seen and heard the animals.

The MailOnline reports that in response to several attacks on sheep, wolf hunters were deployed to the Alps in October 2015.

An expert tracker, Troy Bennett, told the BBC at the time: "Because they are a protected animal there is no stopping them.

"I predicted ten years ago that they would be as far north as Paris, and this has become true."

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