Wildlife conservation is not known for its success stories. But in Europe, little noticed, we’re living through a most remarkable event in natural history: the return of large carnivores to our forests. These most iconic animals, the wolf, bear, lynx and wolverine were over centuries pushed to the verge of extinction through relentless persecution. This decimation finally came to an end at the turn of the last millennium, by which point these icons were restricted to to the most remote parts of our continent. Recently, and somewhat unexpectedly, strict legal protection has driven the recovery of their populations on a remarkable scale. Even countries as far west and as densely populated as the Netherlands and Denmark now have resident wolf packs. In just a few short years our forests have become a little wilder: fantastic beasts are returning to Europe.