Sweden says it needs to kill more wolves

Jan. 15, 2010 at 8:35 PM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Sweden's first wolf hunt in more than 40 years resulted in the shooting and killing of 27 wolves, Swedish news agency TT reported Friday.

But that wasn't enough, said Olof Liberg, research manager at a wildlife research station in Varmland.

The Swedish Parliament decided in October to limit the country's wolf population to 210 animals for the next five years

"To keep to the ceiling level of 210 animals, between 34 and 41 should have been killed this year," Liberg said.

He said around 50 wolves will have to be killed in 2011.

The number of wolves in Sweden in recent years has grown an average of 19 percent yearly, TT reported.

Before the wolf hunt, Sweden's environmental minister, Andreas Carlgren, said the kill was necessary to reduce inbreeding among Sweden's wolf pack.

But after examining carcasses of 20 wolves killed in the hunt, experts say they saw no sign of abnormalities or defects resulting from inbreeding.

In a survey by the Zoological Institute at Gothenburg University, only 30 percent of Swedes said they supported the wolf hunt.

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