Fascinating article by James Gorman in the Times about the golden jackal, a 20-pound predator native to Africa and the Middle East that has been spreading into Europe since the wolves were nearly exterminated in the 1800s. The spread has accelerated in recent decades and now there are more than 100,000 jackals in Europe, compared to fewer than 20,000 wolves. They are most common in the Balkans, especially Bulgaria and Greece, but they have been spotted across the continent.
I guess the jackals are following the same path as coyotes in North America. Their smaller size allows them to survive more easily among people, and the absence of wolves (who hunt and kill both coyotes and jackals) leaves a predatory niche open for them to exploit.