Sweden to import wolves

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Sweden's plan to import wolves hinges on cooperation by hunting groups in central Sweden where the wolf population is concentrated, officials said.

"At most 20 healthy wolves that are unaffected by inbreeding will be assimilated with Swedish wolves over a five-year period," Swedish environment minister Andreas Carlgren told the news agency TT.


While most of the wolves would be imported from other countries, some of them could be wolves relocated from reindeer grazing areas in the north of Sweden, The Local reported Friday.

Sweden's aim is to have a healthy wolf population of just more that 200 animals. The population currently is about 182 to 217 wolves, which became inbred after being hunted nearly to extinction by the 1960s.

The reintroduction plan will depend on hunting groups working in cooperation with Sweden's Environmental Protection Agency, Carlgren said.

Sweden this month held its first licensed wolf hunt since the 1960s, allowing 27 wolves to be killed by permitted hunters. Conservationists have said the hunt was poorly supervised by the government.

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