State authorities have given hunters in Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark permission to shoot and kill a third wolf this winter. They claim there’s an unusual number of wolves in Finnmark at present, and they’re blamed for attacking more than 60 reindeer and free-grazing sheep last year.
Newspaper Sør-Varanger avis reported Tuesday that hunters can now track down and kill a wolf believed to be wandering in the Pasvik area of far eastern Finnmark, which runs along the borders to Russia and Finland south of Kirkenes. Two wolves were shot earlier this winter.
Magne Asheim of the state wildlife agency Statens Naturoppsyn (SNO) said the wolves have wandered into Norway from Finland in search of new territory. “Young male wolves can wander over all of Nordkalotten,” he said, referring to the northernmost areas of Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Reindeer have been found killed from Karasjok to Pasvik. Neither Norway, Sweden nor Finland want wolves in the northern areas because of the threat they pose to grazing reindeer herds. The conflict level over wolf hunting is thus much lower than it is in Southern Norway, where more major demonstrations both for and against wolves were planned for Tuesday evening and Saturday.