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'It's Very Scary in the Forest': Should Finland's Wolves be Culled?

posted Mar 8, 2017, 9:16 PM by chloe owens

2/25/17, by Patrick Barkham, The Guardian

‘It’s very scary in the forest’: should Finland’s wolves be culled?

… Finland has a wolf problem. Five and a half million humans share the country with an estimated 235 wolves, and that’s too many, say rural Finns, whose livestock and hunting dogs are being killed. Some parents are scared that wolves will attack their children. “Before, wolves were afraid of people,” Kettunen tells me. “Now people are afraid of wolves.” For the past three years, the government has assuaged these fears with a wolf cull. Last winter, 43 wolves were killed in a “management hunt”, while the total fatalities numbered 78, including “problem” wolves shot by police and road casualties.  This winter, Helsinki authorized another cull, permitting the death of 53 wolves, to include those shot by police and traffic fatalities. The cull is controversial: the wolf is a protected, endangered species. Critics say Finland is in breach of EU law. A candlelit vigil for slaughtered wolves took place in Helsinki last month… In this apparently calm and phlegmatic country, the wolf polarizes opinion.