Environment Minister Calls for Peaceful Coexistence Between Humans & Wolves

By , 03 Aug 2019, 11:10 AM Lifestyle
Environment Minister Calls for Peaceful Coexistence Between Humans & Wolves Flickr, Tambako The Jaguar, CC BY-ND 2.0

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STA, 2 August 2019 - Environment Minister Simon Zajc called for coexistence between people and wolves as he visited on Friday the Cerkljansko region, where wolf attacks on livestock have become increasingly frequent. He pointed to measures that protect humans and their property from wolves.

Two attacks occurred at the same time last Sunday, which means that two packs of wolves are currently in the region.

Hunting officials have been given the green light to cull one wolf and the minister hopes that this reduction will deter any other wolves from visiting villages and attacking.

"Our task is to enable coexistence. Coexistence means that people do not live in fear, that there are possibilities for development and that we have sufficient wolf population," the minister said.

A number of measures are necessary to meet these targets, including subsidised school transport, fencing and culling, he added.

The minister noted that there had been a spike in wolf attacks on farm animals. The increase is, according to him, a result of not carrying out Administrative Court orders on culling in the past.

Wolf is a territorial animal, which moves on when the space gets scarce. The presence of wolves in the region has been proven and the population has been expanding, he said.

The authorities have expanded their monitoring area and the Environment Ministry is working on solutions in cooperation with the Agriculture Ministry.

The minister expressed confidence that experts would set an appropriate figure for culling.

During today's visit, the minister met local mayors and civil initiative representatives as well as farmers who have been affected by the attacks.

The founder of an initiative for the removal of dangerous wild animals, Ivan Mavri, said after the meeting that the organisation demanded measures that would restore a sense of security in the region, but conceded that this would not happen overnight.

According to Mavri, the locals want this area to be completely wolf-free.

Marko Gasser, one of the people who have suffered most damage during the attacks, said that a number of locals had submitted a request to the ministry to define the areas where wolves would be allowed to hunt, excluding the Gorenjska and north Primorska regions.

According to Zajc, there are currently between 88 and 100 wolves in Slovenia.

Under the law on extraordinary culling of bears and wolves, which entered into force at the end of June, a total of 62 bears have been culled so far, and no wolves, according to the national Forest Service.

The law permits the culling of 175 bears and 11 wolves, which is more than 10% of the population of both animals in Slovenia, with the service estimating the bear population at around 1,000 and the wolf population at 100.

The most of the damage is being done by wolves, which this year attacked more than 500 domestic animals, more than double compared to the same period last year.

The Forest Service dealt with a total of 406 cases of damage done by wolves this year, with the total amount being estimated at EUR 312,000.

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