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A Consequence of Ukraine’s War: Less Hunting, More Wolf Attacks

posted Sep 18, 2018, 11:45 PM by chloe owens

8/15/2018, by Jere Longman, NY Times

A Consequence of Ukraine’s War: Less Hunting, More Wolf Attacks

Aleksandr Podlesnyi saw the lunge before he recognized the shape as a wolf…Mr. Podlesnyi, 41, had emerged from his outhouse early on Dec. 9, intending to feed his chickens and ducks. Instead, he found himself becoming an extreme example of the unintended consequences of a war that has simmered for four years in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists. Hunting is prohibited in areas extending as far as 40 miles from the front line to minimize confusion about who is shooting at what target. As a result…predators like foxes and wolves are appearing in greater numbers and coming into closer contact with humans, pets and barnyard animals in rural areas. A neighbor said he had rushed to Mr. Podlesnyi’s aid and used a tire ironto help pry open the wolf’s jaws. Then a soldier from a garrison across the street rushed over and shot the animal twice in the head, killing it. The wolf, which attacked other animals in the neighborhood that morning, was most likely rabid, but no autopsy was performed, according to the chief veterinary official in the area…To be clear, attacks on villagers remain rare on the rolling grasslands and wheat fields of the steppe in eastern Ukraine, and some efforts are being permitted to vaccinate predatory animals and to cull them with rifles. But a number of hunters say such attempts at population control have been haphazard and often inefficient.