A sheep rancher near Askim, southeast of Oslo, discovered 20 animals in his flock, mostly lambs, dead or dying on Thursday from what’s believed to be an attack by wolves in the area. The attack comes after many local residents have reported wolf sightings in the area in recent weeks.
“It’s sad when something like this happens,” Mats Finne of the state wildlife authority Statens naturoppsyn told state broadcaster NRK. “Our evaluation is that there’s a strong probability wolves were behind this.”
He cited powerful bites on the lambs’ necks that also crushed their heads. Some of the animals were half-eaten as well. The owner of the animals will be eligible for state compensation for his losses.
The attack follows months of public debate over Norway’s wolf population, which once faced extinction but has been growing in recent years. Farmers and some rural residents feel threatened by the wolves, while others hail their comeback and consider them a natural part of the wildlife in Norway.