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FARMING

Farmers seek to shoot potato-munching cranes

Exasperated farmers in Jämtland in northern Sweden have grown so tired of their crops being destroyed by cranes that they have sought permission to shoot the endangered birds.

Farmers seek to shoot potato-munching cranes

“Before there can be a hunt, other measures to scare them off have to be tried,” said Birgitta Hallgren at the county administration board to the Länstidningen i Östersund daily.

So far, farmers have tried in vain to scare off the cranes with propane cannons and fireworks.

Potato crops in Orrviken are reported to be the current target of the cranes, who are picking off the sweet potatoes and any new potatoes that are pushing through the soil.

In nearby Ragunda the voracious birds have eaten up a harvest of 35 tonnes of barley.

As the birds are classified as an endangered species, it is very seldom that permission is granted to shoot them to control numbers.

The methods deployed to scare off the cranes have proved thus far to have only a short-term effect and the administration board has discussed the methods available for warding off the birds.

Local farmer Joakim Nordlund warned that even if permission were granted to shoot the cranes, it is not for certain that the crops will be protected.

“It is not enough just to shoot a few, so that is not a great alternative either,” he said.

One alternative under discussion for next year is that some potatoes could be transported to where the birds nest in order to satisfy their hunger and keep them away from the fields.

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MISSING PERSON

Missing Norwegian man found with broken leg

The Norwegian man who has been missing in the highland areas of Jämtland in northern Sweden since last Wednesday has been found alive but immobilized with a broken leg.

Missing Norwegian man found with broken leg

The man, who is reported to be in his forties was found by a Norwegian helicopter team at around 4.30pm, according to Åsa Wallinder at Jämtland police.

Swedish and Norwegian forces are cooperating in the search for a Norwegian citizen who disappeared in the highlands.

Norwegian police alerted their Swedish colleagues during the early hours of Saturday after the man’s car was found in a rest area Skalstugan in Jämtland near the Norwegian border.

About 70 people from the Norwegian side of the border and some 20 from the Swedish side had been engaged in the search for the man.

The search continues meanwhile for a 78-year-old Danish man who disappeared during Friday night in Härjedalen.

According to police, the man was travelling in a car with his wife. The car broke down near Sveg and they spent the night in the car. When his wife woke up early in the morning the man was gone.

Around 80 people from the police, armed forces and volunteer groups are looking for 78-year-old.

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