The Siberian republic of Yakutia in the Russian Federation has been experiencing an escalating wolf problem. In 2012 alone, the region reported that more than 16,000 domestic reindeer and some 300 horses had been eaten by the canines. Damages from wolf predation have been said to cost households in the region more than 157 million rubles ($5 million) last year.
The number of rabbits, hares, and squirrels–the wolves’ usual diet–in the region has decreased, leading to the increased attack on livestock.
The local government has therefore ordered the extermination of some 3,000 wolves. Officials estimate there are more than 3,500 wolves living in Yakutia, but they would like to see only 500 roaming the region. Yakutian President Yegor Borisov announced a state of emergency and a plan to act as swiftly as possible.
He has called for hunters to get rid of the 3,000 wolves by mid-April, although wolf hunting will be open year-round until 3,000 are eliminated. The top three hunters will reportedly receive a six-figure monetary reward while thousands more dollars will be paid out to other hunters, although the government will determine the final amount.
The hunt is scheduled to begin January 15.