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ANIMALS

Sweden preps for post-hunt wolf imports

The government on Thursday ordered the Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket) to prepare for the active import of foreign wolves into Sweden from the east.

At the same time, wolves that naturally make their way into reindeer grazing areas in the north of the country are to be pushed south to central Sweden where the country’s wolf population is concentrated.

“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 TT news agency.

He added that the move will require buy-in from people who live in the affected areas.

“It puts a lot of responsibility on the hunting organizations. I’m making a clear and direct appeal to them to take responsibility and contribute to the strengthening work which the Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) is about to start,” said Carlgren.

The Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management (Svenska Jägareförbundet) has, according to the minister, agreed to help bring the wolves into Sweden.

“I expect that the National Hunting Association (Jägarnas riksförbund) will do the same,” he added.

Following the controversial wolf hunt carried out earlier this year, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency will examine how it was carried out, including what was done before and during the hunt.

Among other things, the agency will look into the frequency of hunting injuries and the training of hunters, the demographic and genetic consequences of the hunt on Sweden’s wolf population, and how various parties affected or involved reacted to the hunt.

“Both wolf parents were shot on one reserve. Researchers have said that the orphaned pups will likely make it, but we’re going to investigate whether or not they do,” said Maria Ågren, director general of the environmental agency.

Another issue is whether or not 12,000 hunters were really required to kill 27 wolves.

“We want to know how many hunters are really needed to carry out a hunt like that, and if the hunters accepted their share of the responsibilities which come with the right to hunt. Make no mistake about this point; I’m not going to pull any punches if the hunters didn’t live up to their responsibilities,” said Carlgren.

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ANIMALS

Outrage after Malmö council officers shoot aggressive swan dad

A swan living on a canal in central Malmö was shot dead by professional hunters on Sunday night, just weeks before the birth of his eight cygnets.

Outrage after Malmö council officers shoot aggressive swan dad
A swan studies its reflection in Malmö's Pildammsparken. Photo: Jakob Nilsson-Ehle/Flickr
The male swan or 'cob' signed his own death sentence earlier this year, when he attacked a group of children near his nest close to Malmö's police station, causing several of the youngsters to fall into the water. 
 
“I understand that people are upset about this. I'm upset myself. I conserve nature. I don't usually kill things,” Ola Enqvist, a nature conservationist employed by Malmö's local government, told The Local. 
 
“All male swans defend their nests of course. But this swan was particularly angry. He attacked everybody who passed by, and people were afraid.” 
 
One local resident, Martina Andersson, told the Sydsvenskan newspaper that she found the decision “extremely upsetting”. 
 
“They were a real feature of the area,” she said of the swans. “He is only protecting his mate from the canoeists who paddle by, but it doesn't do anyone any harm.” 
 
 
Enqvist said two hunters had been granted special police permission to use a firearm and had then both shot the swan simultaneously to ensure he was killed instantly. They carried out the shooting late on Sunday night to minimize the risk of passers-by being alarmed. 
 
Enqvist said that to his knowledge the city authorities had never before had to put a swan down. 
 
“This was the first time it's happened, and I hope the last,” he commented.
 
As for the swan's mate, he said he hoped she would be capable of hatching and nurturing the eight eggs in her nest alone.  
 
“We think and hope that she will be able to bring up the children. She is the one in the nest, not the male, so we hope she will manage to do it herself,” he said. 
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