A new survey shows that a majority of Oslo residents living close to the city’s eastern forest (Østmarka) aren’t worried that a pair of wolves settled down in the area and produced a litter of pups.
The survey of 900 residents of the eastern Oslo districts of Alna and Østensjø showed that 63 percent were positive to having wolves in Østmarka and that the wolves had pups. That was almost the same level of acceptance in a similar survey in 2013, when the wolves first settled in.
In the more rural areas of Enebakk and Rælingen on the other side Østmarka, there was less support for the wolves but fully 46 percent also responded that they were positive towards the wolves’ presence in the area between Oslo and the large Lake Øyeren.
The survey results were said to reflect sentiment nationwide: “Predators are popular within the Norwegian population, but more popular in urban areas than in rural areas,” Olve Krange of the Norwegian institute for nature resesearch (NINA) told newspaper Dagsavisen. Krange and his fellow researcher Ketil Skogen wanted to see whether the wolves were welcome in Østmarka, and they are.
“The wolves haven’t been very visible,” Krange noted. “They haven’t roamed close to residential areas or prowled around day care centers. That would have sparked more media attention.”