Wolf pups break record

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A pair of wolves in eastern Norway can boast a record number of offspring, report researchers for Skandulv, a joint Scandinavian project aimed at providing information for optimal management of the area’s wolf population.

Petter Wabakken of Skandulv, which involves several research institutions in Norway and Sweden, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that a female wolf in Hedmark County gave birth to 11 wolf pups last spring, setting a new record for resurgence of wolf stocks in the area.

He said the offspring include eight males and three females born into the so-called Kynna pack.

“It’s the first time we’ve counted so many,” Wabakken told NRK. “But it’s not certain all the pups will grow up.” He said he and fellow researchers were looking forward to follow the pack this winter, through their tracks in snow.

He said the pack roams the area near Elverum, Våler and Åsnes, and that the father probably has crossed the border from Sweden.

Signs of growth in Norway’s once nearly extinct wolf population is never greeted favourably by Norwegian ranchers and others who don’t want wolves in their area. They view the wolves as a threat, not least to their livestock that traditionally has been allowed to graze freely. Some ranchers finally are resorting to fencing in their land.

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