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Wolves Go on Offensive in Chechnya

Ruslan Isayev / Prague Watchdog / September 25, 2007

In Chechnya this year there have been several reports of wolves appearing near populated areas. At night the predators lose their fear and apprehension and find their way into hen-houses and sheds on private land, where they inflict losses on the owners of livestock.

The residents of some villages in Chechnya's Nadterechny district have already spent several nights lying in ambush for the grey predator. In the village of Goragorsk a pack of wolves attacked a private farm, savaging and killing 24 rams. Only one of the flock survived. After an earlier attack the owners had put a guard on their livestock, but after three days lifted their precautions in the belief that the wolves sensed an ambush and would not return. The very next night a pack of wolves carried out an attack on the farm, during which this damage occurred .

Experienced hunters say that the reason the wolves are behaving this way because it is now the season when the wolf cubs have to be taught how to hunt, and the raid on the rams was one of the lessons.

Until recently it was believed that large numbers of wild animals and birds had left Chechnya and crossed into the neighbouring republics.This was mainly due to the ongoing military operations, particularly the bombing and shelling of mountainous areas. Now ecologists believe that much of Chechnya's lost wildlife population may be gradually re-establishing itself.