The wolves snagged a dog in the village of Imavere in Järva County on Sunday evening. Another dog was attacked but survived. Hunters confirmed that there are 11 wolves in the area.
While the owner of the dogs said that she had seen three to six wolves, Imavere huntsman Mati Hõbemägi said that there are a total of 11 animals in the area. They tried to hunt them, but didn't manage to get hold of so much as a single animal this season, Hõbemägi said.
He added that he has recently come across a pack with pups. The animals are suffering from mange, Hõbemägi said.
The reason why the wolves are currently pushing into human settlements is that the African swine fever (ASF) has decimated the wild boar stocks in Estonia, and they haven't yet switched to other prey.
Hõbemägi sees a problem in the way the Environmental Board assesses animal stocks. If the specialist in charge estimates stocks and says that there are a thousand roe deer to one wolf, then something is off, he said. In his opinion, the Environmental Board deliberately underestimates the number of wolves.
As the Environmental Board's Aimar Rakko explains, if the gap between the hunters' numbers and those of the specialists gets too big, it's the specialists that need to explain why their numbers are so low.
The board was able to confirm that the dogs in Imavere were attacked by wolves, and also found fresh traces in the area.
101 animals were shot in the most recent hunting season. There is the option to apply for additional licenses if certain animals should turn out to be particularly aggressive or destructive.
Editor: Dario Cavegn