Suspicions rise over illegal wolf hunting

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Several wolves that had been tracked by researchers in Norway have gone missing, and those doing the monitoring of the country’s small but replenished wolf population suspect illegal wolf hunting. 

Wolves are extremely unpopular in the eastern counties of Hedmark and Oppland, where most of Norway’s wolves roam, and they’re especially feared by sheep ranchers. The local wolf population of around 30 animals has suddenly lost as many as a dozen parental wolves.

“Parental pairs usually stay together for life and normally don’t leave an established pack,” Morten Kjørstad of the monitoring agency Rovdata, told news bureau NTB last week. “We can’t see any other clarification for their disappearance than illegal hunting.”

Wolf researcher Petter Wabakken also thinks illegal hunting is to blame. “There was no hunting permission granted this winter,” he told NTB. “So we’re probably looking at some comprehensive destruction.”

Around 300 wolves were registered in all of Scandinavia last winter. The wolves that tend to roam on the Norwegian side of the border to Sweden dipped, from around 35 to 28.

Views and News staff