The small predator is usually at home in the Balkans and parts of Asia. But with the first sighting confirmed in Thuringia, the jackal has been spotted across most of southern and eastern Germany.
A golden jackal, native to southeastern Europe and southern parts of Asia, has been spotted in the German state of Thuringia for the first time, experts confirmed on Friday. The canid has been expanding its territory, possibly due to climate change making the winters warmer in central Europe. But experts point out that it is still unclear why exactly their numbers have gone up.
The jackal was caught by a motion-activated camera in the Hainich National Park earlier in August. Pictures uploaded to the park's official Facebook page were viewed by experts from the US and Slovenia, who confirmed that the animal was indeed a golden jackal.
The predator, larger than a fox but smaller than a wolf, has been sighted in Germany for about 20 years, also appearing in the states of Brandenburg, Bavaria, Hesse and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
In the past two weeks, there have also been reported sightings in the states of Saxony and Baden-Württemberg, which would mean that the golden jackal has taken over forests across eastern and southern Germany.