Wolf of Ansbach

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The Wolf of Ansbach, chased into a well and displayed on a gibbet
The carcass of the Wolf of Ansbach

The Wolf of Ansbach was a man-eating wolf that attacked and killed an unknown number of people in the Principality of Ansbach in 1685, then a part of the Holy Roman Empire.[1]


Initially a nuisance preying on livestock, the wolf soon began attacking children. The citizens of Ansbach believed the animal to be a werewolf, a reincarnation of their late and cruel Bürgermeister, whose recent death had gone unlamented. During an organized hunt, the locals succeeded in driving the wolf from a nearby forest and chasing it down with dogs until it leaped into an uncovered well for protection. Trapped, the wolf was slain, and its carcass paraded through the city marketplace. It was dressed in a man's clothing and, after severing its muzzle, the crowd placed a mask, wig, and beard upon its head, giving it the appearance of the former Bürgermeister. The wolf's body was then hanged from a gibbet for all to see until it underwent preservation for permanent display at a local museum.[2]

Franz Ritter von Kobell and other writers also wrote poems about the wolf and its actions.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richard H. Thompson (1991). Wolf-Hunting in France in the Reign of Louis XV: The Beast of the Gévaudan. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press.
  2. ^ Starr, Michelle (October 29, 2015). "Wolves among us: Five real-life werewolves from history". CNET. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  3. ^ Germany, SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg. "Wildanger von Franz von Kobell - Text im Projekt Gutenberg". gutenberg.spiegel.de. Retrieved 2016-06-17.

Further reading[edit]