The state agency in charge of tracking wildlife in Norway (Statens naturoppsyn) has found a total of 11 wolf pups in dens set up in the counties of Hedmark and Akershus. The little wolves were said to be of normal size and “in fine shape.”
Four male wolves were found in the area of the wolf zone being studied called “Mangen,” which extends into both Hedmark and Akershus. Another six males and a female wolf were found in the Letjenna area in Hedmark.
Their parents in both areas were marked with GPS transmitters last winter, so it was possible to follow their movements. The state inspectors suspected the wolves were breeding and have now confirmed the results, encountering several of the wolf pups sleeping in dens.
The inspectors retrieved some fur and other samples from the pups to secure their DNA. The pups were also measured, weighed and registered. The studies are aimed at evaluating the damage the wolves can later do and to monitor where they wander.
Wolves remain a topic of heated debate in Norway between those keen to preserve the species and farmers who blame wolves for threatening their free-grazing livestock. Farmers often call for wolf hunts, even though unattended free-grazing sheep are also killed by dogs, other wildlife including eagles, illness and neglect.