Re-introducing long lost wildlife species in rural areas is an idea — and increasingly a passion — that excites romantics eager to put a mark on the scoresheet for nature in its losing struggle against mankind’s machines and sprawling cities.
Many of these projects, now seen in the US and across Europe, are entirely praiseworthy.
Who could object sanely to welcoming back eagles, bighorn sheep, condors, water voles and the rest?
These are creatures, after all, that pose no threat to crops, livestock or people.
But some eco-warriors want to go much further, with plans for re-introducing lynx, wolves and bears.
It’s a topic being discussed in Russia, where more than 50 polar bears have moved from their Arctic sea ice habitat to a nearby town and its rubbish dump and where, as a consequence, fear stalks the streets.
Wildlife re-population would boost eco-tourism, but when it comes to predators — endangered or not — it would be wise to be careful what you wish for.