Sweden's cull of wolves nears its quota

Hunters have only a few more wolves to kill to complete their quota in the first cull of the animal in Sweden for 45 years, according to a tally compiled by the press Sunday.

Another three wolves were shot Sunday after some 20 killed on Saturday, all but meeting the target of 27 kills set for the hunt, which was meant to run between January 2 and February 15.

A female wolf lays on the snow after being shot down by hunters during a wolf hunt on January 2, near Kristinehamn.

The controversial cull, condemned by the country's ecology movements, was authorised after parliament voted in October to limit the wolf population to 210 in 20 packs over the next five years.

Farmers had complained of attacks on their livestock and wolves had been reported in the outskirts of some cities, including Stockholm.

"This is a sad day for all those who care about nature," said Mikael Karlsson, president of Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.

Wolves, which had virtually disappeared from Sweden in the 1970s, thrived after being reintroduced there.

source AFP

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