Europes wolf population is on the rise and in Finland, their own future hangs in the remaining balance. Are they a threat to humans, or should they be protected?
The story of a kill is say in the snow. On the Finnish island of Porosaari, we find the first paw periodical. Thats a male, replies Asko Kettunen, retired margin guard, hunter and tracker. How can he be sure? Its big.
Five ravens rise from dark yearns, succumbing in the icy silence; they will scavenge anything caught by the wolves. We wade through knee-deep snow. Theres a recognise of evocative blood and a tuft of moose whisker, cleanly section, which Kettunen deduces has been ripped from a living swine. This, he replies, is the moment the wolves made contact. First their efforts to puncture the intestines; if they replace, the moose may run on, but the damage is done.
We find moose ways, each hoof periodical far apart: the swine was running. Kettunen drawn attention to wolf magazines on either side, to where a second and third wolf assembled the chase. There are blood smudges and more whisker and a pine sapling snarled in two. The moose crashed with a tree, so it was not that well, Kettunen replies, with Finnish understatement.
There are smudges of blood by every moose periodical now. Ultimately, up the hill, is the kill zone. A young moose has been reduced to two front legs and a surface separated accurately from the body, intestines that run like butchers sausages and a embankment of freshly grinded grass where its stomach formerly was. Kettunen is of the view that five wolves feasted here the previous nighttime. We find faeces and a curving bottom of snow where a contented wolf took a postprandial doze.
Finland has a wolf problem. Five and a half million humans share the country with an estimated 235 wolves, and thats too many, allege urban Finns, whose livestock and hunting dog are being killed. Some mothers are fright 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 panics with a wolf glean. Last-place wintertime, 43 wolves were killed in a administration hunting, while total fatalities numbered 78, including problem wolves shot by police and road casualties.
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