Norway wolf cull: Almost 12,000 sign up to kill half of country's remaining wolves

Around a quarter of the Scandinavian nation's wolves were killed in previous culls

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The Independent Online

So many Norwegian hunters have registered to take part in a Government-ordered cull of wolves that they outnumber the animals by a ratio of 723 to one.

There are thought to be a few as 30 wolves living in the wild in Norway, but 11,571 people have registered to shoot 16 of them.

Figures show similar demand for hunting brown bears in the Scandinavian country, with 10,930 people signing up to shoot a total of 18 of the animals.

Another 10,820 licence holders were interested in shooting 141 wolverines.

According to the Norwegian Register for Hunters, registration for “each large carnivore species is set each hunting year.”

Registration is free, but those applying must be over 18 and have paid their hunting licence fee - which is around £25 - for the current hunting year.

The Norwegian government called a cull of wolves in 2000 and 2005, when around 25 per cent of the population were killed.

The majority of the wolves reside in the south-east of Norway.

Only 500 of Norway's 20,000 registered hunters are women, although this number is growing.

The country's wolf hunting season begins on October 1 and ends on March 31, according to The Guardian.

Farmers welcome the hunting of wolves as they are considered a threat to their sheep.

Surrounding countries, including Sweden, Finland and Russia have tighter restrictions on hunting wolves.