A wolf has been seen in the Netherlands for the first time in over a century, with footage showing the predator trotting around near a railway track in Noord-Sleen.

The film shows the lone wolf making its way across a field and onto a road, with a car stopping to let it pass as it continues on its travels.

It is thought the wolf came from nearby Germany, and after being seen a number of times it went back home across the border.

There have been no official gray wolf sightings in the Netherlands since 1897. One was seen last June, but there was no recorded evidence.

In Germany conservators say there are now about 150 known wolves in about 20 packs. They were introduced there around 15 years ago from Poland.

Wolf sightings have become increasingly common in the Netherlands and experts believe it is only a matter of time before they gain a foothold on Dutch soil.

Gray wolves were once common across Northern Europe but their populations were decimated as a result of human hunting and the destruction of their natural habitats.

An extermination effort over hundreds of years led the species to be pushed to the brink of extinction.

However, recovery began in the 1950s when human population shifts meant hunting wolves was no longer necessary. Since then many countries have declared it a protected species.