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WOLVES

Two wolves attack and kill a dog

The Stockholm county administration board is now confirming that two wolves attacked a dog that was being walked by a women and her child in Rörmossen in Norrtälje. The wolves took the dog with them and the animal's remains have been found.

Hanna Diitrich Söderman, one of the county board’s two predator administrators, confirmed, after an investigation, that it was two wolves that attacked and killed a dog, reported news agency TT.

“We found parts of the dog a few hundred meters away from where the attack took place,” she told TT.

When the women saw the wolves she began to scream and flail her arms. “She behaved exactly right,” said Söderman.

“I admire what she did.”

The women and the child were not physically injured.

“Now we are carrying out surveillance and we’ll try to track as long as we can, so that we don’t miss any details,” said Söderman.

According to the County Administration Board, there are two adult wolves who live between Norrtälje and Åkesberga, and a year ago four puppies were born in the territory.

Olof Liberg, predator researcher and Coordinator of the Scandinavian wolf project, says the wolves attacked the dog to defend their territory.

“This isn’t unusual,” he told TT.

“We have had a few of these cases. Wolves honor their territory very strongly,” he said.

Liberg said that the wolves perceive the dog as kin and when one comes into their territory they become so focused that they barely notice humans.

It is like they get blinders, he said. “Wolves hate other wolves who pass into their territory. If they can, they’ll try to kill them or chase them away.”

He said the woman acted right when she began to holler and wave her hands to scare away the wolves.

“They don’t attack people, they barely even saw her,” he said.

He says there is little risk that wolves will attack people. “We haven’t had one incident in Scandinavia where wolves acted aggressively against humans” he said.

Over the past few years, between 40 and 70 dogs per year have been attacked by large predators in Sweden, according to the Predator Center (Rovdjurscentret De 5 Stora). In half of the cases the dogs have died.

Last year, 38 dogs were attacked by large predators, wolves accounting for 21 of the attacks.

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WOLVES

Swedish hunters kill 22 wolves in a week

Five wolves were shot by Swedish hunters on Saturday morning, meaning they have killed 22 out of the 24 wolves for which licences have been granted after just one week.

Swedish hunters kill 22 wolves in a week
This Chernobyl wolf is safe from Swedish hunters. Photo: Valeriy Yurko/University of Portsmouth
Environmental campaigners sharply criticised the decision by the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden’s decision to issue licenses to hunt wolves on December 30, accusing it of ignoring an 18 percent drop in the country’s wolf population to an estimated 340 animals. 
 
Torbjörn Nilsson, chairman of the Swedish Carnivore Association, called the decision “unfortunate and surprising”.
 
But Martin Källberg, editor of the hunting magazine Svensk Jakt, said that the speed with which the quota had been met indicated that there had been no shortage of animals. 
 
“There are quite simply a lot of wolves in these areas,” he told The Local, adding that the weather had also helped.  “When you have fresh snow you can follow the tracks. It’s much easier, because then you can see where they are.”  
 
Members of a hunting team in Örebro County told Aftonbladet in an article published on Saturday that wolves were threatening livestock, dogs, elk and deer. 
 
“Deer have almost disappeared. But you see wolf shit everywhere nowadays,” one of the hunters complained. 
 
“I've seen elk that have been raped … I was about to say raped, I meant taken down. They had bitten off a…piece at the back of the thigh and then followed the elk until it bled to death. That’s what my wife says, ‘think about the poor elk!’. They have to be afraid all the time now. It is terrible.”
 
According to Svensk Jakt, three wolves were shot in Orsen, Dalarna, on Saturday, one wolf in Loka, between Dalarna and Örebro, and one in Brattfors, in Gävleborg. 
 
This means that hunters in Brattfors have now shot all six of the wolves for which quotas were granted. 
 
Loka would also have exhausted its quota of six wolves had the local county government not decided on Saturday to grant a license for one more wolf. 
 
“The strategy to achieve our goal is to empty certain territories, including Loka. We have had clear indications that there were more than six wolves,” David Höök, the wildlife officer in Värmland, who administers the hunt, explained to SVT Orebro. 
 
Five wolves have also been shot in both Orsen, Dalarna and Blyberg, Gävleborg, leaving each area one more wolf to kill.