Some 400 hungry wolves in the Siberian Republic Sakha have banded together to hunt deer and horses. About 30 horses have been killed by wolves over the last few days. Locals fear that the dangerous animals may attack humans too.
“We have gathered 24 hunting parties to patrol the neighborhood on showmobiles. We also set traps. Using poison against wolves is forbidden though. When daytime becomes long enough, the hunters will shoot the predators from helicopters,” said a spokesman for the administration of the Verhnoyarsky region, where the wolf pack lives, as cited by Interfax news agency.
It is unusual for wolves to gather in such numbers or hunt large animal like horses. However the population of their usual prey, rabbits, has decreased this year due to lack of food, so wolves have changed their habits.
Authorities have also set a bounty for wolf pelts, paying some $330 for one.
Vladimir Bologov, zoologist and wolf preservation enthusiast, believes the problem may be exaggerated to look more urgent than it actually is.
“Such position is normal for hunters who want to get extra financing on the pretext of fighting against wolves. Helicopters are expensive; any flying one is a thrill many people want to experience,” he commented for RT.