The wolf is probably a so-called alpha male, whose mate had an unknown quantity of cubs in May. According to Västernorrland council’s wildlife consultant Gunnar Ledström, this is the first wolf killed in the area since the beginning of the 1990s.
“This is unfortunate, but it doesn’t mean that the whole wolf repopulation process is shot to pieces,” he said.
“Now a greater burden will fall on the female to provide for her young, but they normally manage. Soon she’ll probably find a new mate.”
The hunter, a man in his 40s, raised the alarm himself. He was out with his dog hunting birds when the wolf appeared. First he fired a warning shot, but the wolf was unpeturbed and when it attcked the dog, the hunter fired two shots from a few metres away. With a fourth shot he killed the beast.
While Sundsvall police’s Roger Wiklander said that there is no reason to doubt the hunter’s tale, he is automatically facing charges of committing a “serious hunting offence”.
He is claiming self-defence but his weapon has been confiscated. The man’s dog was uninjured.
The dead wolf has been frozen and will be taken to the national veterinary centre in Uppsala for a post mortem.
Killing a wolf is seriously frowned upon by the Swedish courts. A Dalsland farmer who shot dead a wolf which had killed ten of his sheep was recently imprisoned for six months, while a man in Roslagen was given community service for shooting a wolf who had killed a neighbour’s sheep.