The Wolves of Paris were real wolves that invaded Paris in the winter of 1450. More than 40 peasants were hunted by the wolves until the pack and its leader, Courtaud, were finally caught and killed.
Why The Wolves Invaded Paris?
After the exhausting Hundred Years’ War, Paris was ruined in many ways. Not all houses were harmed, but people’s spirit was down. The wars and the different sieges weakened financial resources and locals were tired. The wall, like many other buildings, was broken and the mayor didn’t make the effort to fix it because of lack of money. The Parisians were vulnerable to external attacks, not only human attacks.
This winter was extremely harsh and many animals died. The scarcity in deer and wild boars made hunting animals such as wolves very hungry and aggressive and soon a big pack of wild wolves invaded Paris – notoriously known as the Wolves of Paris.
The Wolves of Paris – The Vicious Courtaud
The wolves of Paris were lead by a red wolf, apparently from the Iberian peninsula where red wolves were seen. It was much larger than the average wolf and the Parisians believed he was sent by the devil itself. The local gave him the name “Courtaud” or bobtail, for its short tail.
The wolves attacked mainly women and children because they were much easier to target. More than forty Parisian were hunted and eaten by the wild pack of wolves.
Eventually a group a men decided to hunt down the wolves by surrounding them, lured and prodded them to Île de la Cité – a stratigic place surrounded by water from which there was no easy escape. Once all the wolves were gathered there and had no way out, piles of stones were brought and the men stoned and speared the wolves until no one left alive.