Sweden Allows Wolf Hunting After 45 Year Ban

Photo via Olivier Morin / AFP

For the government of Sweden, having 237 wolves in the entire nation is a few too many. The wolves were nearly made extinct by hunting in Scandinavia until the activity was banned in the mid 60s. But now, after 45 years, the country's parliament has issued a decree allowing the population of wolves to be reduced to what it deems an appropriate maximum: 210 wolves.

What could be spookier than Sweden thinking 237 wolves is too many? 10 thousand Swedes clamoring for the special hunting license to kill the 'excess' 27 wolves, perhaps?The open-season on wolf was suppose to last until February 15, which is just before the animal's breeding usually begins. On the first day though, nine wolves were killed in just one region of the country alone. So, according to Swedish state radio, the hunt has been suspended there.

Hunters Upset Over Rules
Some of these enthusiastic wolf-hunters are a bit disappointed with the rules surrounding the hunt--each time a hunter hits a wolf, it has to be reported to local authorities in order to maintain the tracking of the killing, according to a report in Globo. But taking care to not over-hunt takes all the fun out of hunting, it seems.

Gunnar Gloersson, the Swedish Hunters' Association:

There are many rules, and every hour, the hunters have to be checking what is the quota allowed.

Environmental protection organizations are critical of Sweden's decision to allow the wolves to be hunted once again--saying that the animal's numbers are still too few to be considered 'healthy'. Before hunting them was made illegal, the wolves were so close to extinction that Sweden and Norway worked together to reintroduce the species in the forests along their common border.

More on Wolf Hunting
First Gray Wolf Hunt in Decades Begins Tomorrow
No Longer Endangered, Gray Wolves to be Hunted by the Hundreds
September Promises to be Killer Month for Wolf Hunters
American Musicians (and Others) Save Norwegian Wolves

Tags: Dogs | Endangered Species | Extinction | Sweden

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