Yukon starts culling wolves

WHITEHORSE, YUKON (Reuter) - The Yukon government said it had embarked on a controversial plan to kill wolves in the northern Canadian territory despite criticism from world environmental and animal rights groups.

It said a government wildlife team was dispatched last week in a helicopter to shoot 150 wolves in an area west of Whitehorse. A deputy minister, Rob McWilliam, said the 20-day kill was designed to boost dwindling caribou populations. But World Wildlife Fund Canada, one of Canada's largest nature conservancy groups, urged the federal government to halt the slaughter, saying it threatened the wolf population in nearby Kluane National Park, a world heritage site.