Teams of hunters are being formed in the Sakha Republic to cull thousands of wolves responsible for attacks on deer herds and horses.
Currently there are estimated to be around 4,000 wolves in a north-east Siberian region which is only slightly smaller than India. Picture: The Siberian TImes
A state of emergency was declared after some 16,111 deer and 314 horses were lost in 2012 threatening the livelihood of local breeders in Russia's largest region, reported news agencies.
The three month wolf hunt was announced Yegor Borisov, head of the republic, which is also known as Yakutia. It will start on January 15.
'People are worried like never before about massive wolves attacks on domesticated animals in all areas of the republic, including central ones,' he said.
Currently there are estimated to be around 4,000 wolves in a north-east Siberian region which is only slightly smaller than India.
In a cull last year, hunters killed 730 grey wolves but the aim this year is to increase the number.
Officials see the optimal number of wolf predators as around 500, warning that the damage they cause by attacking livestock costs 147 million roubles, around $5 million. Deer breeders lose around 10,000 roubles, or $330, per animal.
The authorities have promised wolf hunters helicopters and munitions also with fuel and other equipment in the campaign to reduce the wolf population.
A cash bounty will be paid for each wolf slaughtered in the cull, along with prizes for the three most successful hunters.
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