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Queen defends husband over wolf row

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Queen defends husband over wolf row
13:27 CET+01:00
Queen Silvia has leapt to her husband's defence after a prominent Swedish author ridiculed comments made in support of wolf hunting by King Carl Gustaf XVI, Aftonbladet reports.

In an interview with Sveriges Radio, the queen reacted angrily to Kerstin Ekman's theory that the king had been drinking when he told journalists that he was not opposed to allowing the hunting of wolves in Sweden.

"I don't know why anybody would ask an author who doesn't know anything about wolves," the queen said in an interview scheduled to be aired on Saturday.

Kerstin Ekman, a prizewinning author who recently wrote the screenplay for the Swedish movie Varg (Wolf), voiced her criticism of the king's remarks in an article on the Newsmill website.

"The question is whether our king had knocked back a couple of drinks beforehand in light of his inarticulate and ill-considered comments on the issue of wild animals," she wrote.

Comments by the king that the number of wolves in the country could "explode" if not kept in check also prompted concern from members of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), for which the king serves as honourary chair.

Wolves remain a protected species in Sweden with a pack size estimated to be around 200 wolves.

The WWF was quick to distance itself from the King's remarks, arguing that Sweden's wolf population was very much under control.

Sweden's main hunting association, Svenska Jägareförbundet, has long called for a removal of the wolves' protected status.

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