One of the wolves that seemed to have established themselves in Oslo’s eastern forest known as Østmarka has gone missing and is feared dead. Some fear she’s been a victim of illegal hunting.
The wolf was among those photographed in late 2013 by cameras set up by wildlife officials who’ve been tracking the wolves’ movements. Conservationists were jubilant that wolves, once nearly extinct in Norway, had reestablished themselves while local ranchers were unhappy. They believe the wolves pose a serious threat to their herds of sheep, many of whom roam freely every summer for traditional open grazing.
A county conservation official said concern began to grow already last spring, when they failed to find any trace of the female wolf. Signs of three other members of her family, but not her, make it increasingly likely that she died because otherwise there would be signs of new wolf offspring. Most wolves, officials say, have pups every year.
Christian Hillmann of the county environmental protection division told newspaper Aftenposten it was impossible to know what happened to the wolf. While she may have been killed by illegal hunters, Hillmann said she also could have become ill, or drowned after falling through thin ice.