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Expert slams zoo after new wolf attack details

Expert slams zoo after new wolf attack details

Published: 19 Jun 2012 11:02 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Jun 2012 11:02 GMT+02:00

A wolf expert has lashed out against the Kolmården zoo after new revelations about the death of the woman who was attacked by a pack of wolves on Sunday.

The woman is believed to have entered the enclosure alone, and been with the wolves up to one hour before her colleagues discovered that she was missing.

Wolf expert Olof Liberg has spoken out against the zoo.

“It’s quite obvious that one of the problems was that she went in alone. It took time to find her, and this time may have been critical,” he told the TT news agency.

“I would have expected that the zoo had clear routines for what to do if someone got injured in the wolf enclosure,” said Liberg, adding that someone should always be nearby and ready to raise the alarm if needed.

Meanwhile, a police officer told the Aftonbladet newspaper that the woman was knocked over and dragged away by the wolves.

“We found clothes and personal belongings strewn over the whole enclosure,” the source said.

Mats Höggren, head of the zoo, has stood by his colleague’s actions, claiming they were standard procedure, and that the 30-year-old had looked after the wolves for three years.

According to Dagens Nyheter, there hasn’t been a fatal wolf attack in Sweden since the 1820’s when a wolf killed nine people, most of whom were young children, in County Gästrikland in eastern Sweden.

With no witnesses or video evidence of the attack, Anders Eriksson, a specialist in forensic medicine, has commented on the difficulty of investigating the case.

“As there’ve been so few fatal wild animal attacks in Sweden, it’s hard to draw any conclusions for how the attack could have happened,” he told Expressen.

Meanwhile, the zoo’s management has been reported to the police for manslaughter by Stig Engdahl, 70, who became a national celebrity in 2003 after he was convicted of shooting a wolf that had attacked his sheep.

“I think it’s manslaughter. If they’re allowing another person to go in with the wolves, they’re putting that person’s life in danger. I think it’s time to put a stop to this wolf circus in Sweden,” Engdahl told Aftonbladet.

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Your comments about this article

11:46 June 19, 2012 by Garry Jones
Little mistake on the date there, its the 1820's not the 1920's...

These are all the known wolf on human kills in Sweden since 1727.

Oluf Swensson, 9, killed on 9th February 1727

Jon Svensson, 4.5, killed on 17 December 1727.

Jon Ersson, 9, killed on 6th Januari 1728

Borta Johansdotter 12, killed on 3rd August 1731

Nils Nilsson, 8, killed in January 1763

The "Gysinge Wolf" killed 9 kids under 20 between 30th December 1820 and 27th Mars 1821

This wolf had been raised in captivity.

Since 27th March 1821 nobody has been killed by a wolf in Sweden until this weekend

It appears to me that they are making a big mistake by letting these wolves live. They have now tasted human blood and will want more. The Gysinge Wolf killed 8 more after its first victim and also attacked another 22 who survived. Note also it was not a wolf of the wild.

In a Kent (UK) zoo in 1980, zookeeper Brian Stocks was killed by a tiger. The zoo owner said it was a freak accident and did not have the Tiger (Zeya) put down. A short time after another zookeeper - Bob Wilson - was mauled to death by the same tigress. Mr Aspinall, the zoo owner, then shot Zeya dead. Another tiger in Zeya family then killed another zookeeper (Trevor Smith).

Surely the "taste for blood" aspect is not lost on Sweden? These wolves are going to want more of the same? Is it smart to let them live?
11:49 June 19, 2012 by gpafledthis
Yes worrisome - IF darwinism is allowed to propagate there will be far fewer sweedies to propagate !! The "masochism tango" should become the native(?) dance of sweden !! In malmo they would "scalp" tickets to the event !!
12:02 June 19, 2012 by johan rebel
No way these wolves should be killed. They are not guilty of any wrongdoing, and residing in an enclosure they are no threat to the general public.

Furthermore, this could prove a financial boon for Kolmården, lots of people will want to come and see the man-eating wolves.

I the early 90s, I knew a (wild, not captive) lioness in South Africa nicknamed "waiter eater", for obvious reasons. Apart from the waiter's family, nobody wanted her put down, and she wasn't.
14:10 June 19, 2012 by entry
Release the wolves in Gamla Stan or Uppsala and we will eagerly await the positive economic and social benefits in the newspapers in Göteborg.
14:30 June 19, 2012 by k2kats
If I was held captive by a different species that didn't understand my language, I might eventually lash out too.

Tragically, in this case, that pent up anger was vented on someone who appeared to genuinely care for the wolves.

It is unconscionable that any zoo would claim ignorance of this very real potential. At the very least, there should be a buddy system.
14:31 June 19, 2012 by Borilla
@Garry Jones

The only "taste for blood" seems to be yours.Killing the wolves because they did what was natural is not an answer. The answer is doing what should have been done originally, stay away from the wolves. The longer this story plays out, the more it looks like negligence on the part of both the zoo and the deceased. The deceased should have known better than to be alone with the wolves and the zoo should have rules in place to insure things like this don't happen. Typical Swedish bureaucratic reaction - despite obvious failure, deny, deny, deny.
14:38 June 19, 2012 by gpafledthis
Too sad !! Clearly looking for the vaunted "sweedie meatballs" sorry even wolves can't tell male from female swede too often anymore !!
01:40 June 20, 2012 by strixy
This is what happens when people first think wolves are pets and then run around like headless chickens because they have to learn the truth the painful way.

Most probably the woman was challenged by one of the wolves and failed to show submission or her posture prompted the pack to initiate an attack over food (eg. she tried to withold food etc).

Wichever way you look at this, it's not the wolves' fault. They are wild animals and should be respected and treated as such.
09:36 June 20, 2012 by B Slick
People must stop thinking of wolves as house pet dogs!! This includes zoos and the people who work there!!
21:00 June 21, 2012 by tadchem
"there hasn't been a fatal wolf attack in Sweden since the 1820's when a wolf killed nine people"

It has tken 190 years for the zookeepers to get stupid again.
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