Folks on summer holiday along Norway’s popular southern coast at Arendal sprang to attention earlier this week after the discovery of two mauled goats, paw prints from a wolf and several reported observations. State conservation officials were calling for all tips from residents and tourists alike.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the wolf was even spotted swimming in the sea off Tromøy, an island known for its summer music festivals and campgrounds.
Local authorities quickly issued a permit allowing the wolf to be shot, with nine hunters and dogs trying on Wednesday and Thursday to track it down both on Tromøy and in the nearby area. The hunting permit is valid until Saturday.
One local holiday homeowner, Axel Bergman, told NRK he suddenly found himself facing the large animal while out walking Tuesday morning. “At first I thought it was a deer, but quickly saw this was something else,” Bergman told NRK. “We had eye-contact, the wolf was only around 20 meters away. After a few seconds it darted into the forest, but I took photos of its tracks.”
Officials said it was highly unusual to see a wolf around the coastal area known as Sørlandet. “I’ve never been called out on a wolf hunt before,” said Geir Håland Moe, leader of the team tracking down the wolf. “So this is very special.”
In a separate case, another wolf was shot early Thursday morning after it was believed to have attacked at least 90 free-grazing sheep in Rendalen, eastern Norway. The wolf was tracked down and shot at Sølndalen. The area is outside the region where wolves remain under strict presevation orders.