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Hungry wolves push into village, attack resident's dog

Wolves caught by a security camera in Lääne County.
Wolves caught by a security camera in Lääne County. Source: ERR

Wolves have recently been spotted close to farms and even in villages in Lääne County. The animals are driven closer to human settlements by hunger, as the African swine fever has significantly reduced the number of wild boar. On Saturday, wolves attacked a dog in the village of Pürksi.

ERR's "Aktuaalne kaamera" newscast reported on Monday evening that the hunting licenses granted by the state to shoot four wolves in Lääne County's Padise area weren't enough according to Hugo Peterson, who is coordinating the hunt for the animals.

While only four licenses were granted for Padise, at the same time there were 16 more licensed kills in Lääne and Rapla County. There are still too many wolves in the area, and they are apparently getting bolder.

Wolves reportedly attacked the dog of a resident of Pürksi. The dog needed to be taken to an animal hospital in Tallinn after its owner managed to scare the beasts away, "Aktuaalne kaamera" said.

According to Peterson, the wolves may be pushing into the villages because of a lack of food. The African swine fever (ASF) has seriously affected the number of wild boar in the area, which means that the wolves' typical food supply in winter isn't the same as in previous years. Wolves are currently seen close to farms and in villages almost every day, Peterson said.

According to expert at the Environment Agency, Peep Männil, the wolves present no danger to humans. In his assessment, the animals simply need time to adjust to the situation. Eventually they will go after deer instead of boar.

The reported attack in Pürksi had nothing to do with the number of wolves in the area, Männil explained. The largest number of attacked dogs was reported between 2003 and 2005, a time when the number of wolves in Estonia had been the lowest in 15 years.

The hunters are still planning to apply for a special license to hunt down the wolves that attacked the dog. A special license is needed as the hunting season on the mainland officially ended last month. According to the hunters, the animals could go after sheep and calves next if their number isn't reduced.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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