Scottish millionaire landowner to 'introduce wolves and bears' to countryside

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Scottish millionaire landowner to 'reintroduce wolves and bears'

A wealthy landowner has unveiled plans to reintroduce wolves and bears into Scotland within the next three years.

Paul Lister, heir to the MFI furniture fortune, has plans to bring wolves and bears back to the Highlands for the first time in hundreds of years.

He bought his 23,000-acre Alladale Estate 10 years ago with the goal of creating a wilderness reserve.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "We're going to do a feasibility study on the big vision and the vision is to have a minimum area of 50,000 acres, have a fence around it, and bring back wolves and bears into that area.

"We'll assess the socio-economic impact that will have and also the environmental impact.

"The presence of these large predators really changes the landscape for the benefit of nature.

"We're talking about maybe two packs of 10 wolves, maybe a dozen bears. These animals create the environment.

"It's not humans who create the environment, it's nature."

But, according to Herald Scotland, he's facing opposition from Ramblers Scotland and politicians.

Drew McFarlane-Slack, of Scottish Land and Estates landowners' organisation, also voiced concerns over the plans. According to the Daily Telegraph, he said: "We would support what Mr Lister is doing in terms of peatland restoration, work with red squirrels and Scottish wildcats, which are native animals.

"But the reintroduction of big carnivores would require great care and it'll be many years before we can get to a point where there could be a general release of these."

Wildlife expert Roy Dennis, based in the Highlands, is one who believes Scotland could follow in the footsteps of Yellowstone National Park in the US, which reintroduced wolves in 1995 (pictured above).

According to the BBC and the Daily Telegraph, he said: :Many of us now go on holiday to Italy, Spain and France and what have they got there? They've got wolves and they've got lynx and they've got bears.

"But you don't feel frightened walking in the Pyrenees. It's just something we've got in our heads and that's why we don't want it to happen."

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