Russian State Declares 'Battle' Against Wolves

Awards for the most wolf pelts

Jan 7, 2013
Outside Magazine

Come down from the mountains, eat our animals, and you best be ready for a battle, wolves. At least, that’s the mindset of officials in Russia’s enormous but remote Sakha Republic, who have declared a state of emergency. Experts quoted in Russian media believe a shortage of rabbits in the nearby mountains has led hungry wolves to prey on Sakha’s reindeer pastures. Reports say that a total of 16,111 reindeer were killed by wolves last year, amounting to $5 million in losses for herders. In response, local officials have extended wolf-hunting season to a full year and, beginning on January 15, groups of hunters will pursue the wolves for what is being called a three-month “battle.” For the hunters who collect the most wolf pelts, there will be multi-thousand-dollar rewards. The goal is to reduce the wolf population, currently numbering 3,500, to just 500.