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Friday, 30 March, 2001, 14:34 GMT 15:34 UK
Swedes offer wolf 'asylum'
Wolf
Wolves were reintroduced to the region in the 1990s
The sole survivor of a pack of 10 grey wolves being culled by hunters in Norway has been offered protection by neighbouring Sweden.


He won't need a passport or anything

Annette Toernqvist, Swedish Environment Ministry
The Swedish Government said it would welcome and protect the wolf, which is known as Martin, if it crossed the border.

The move comes after wildlife conservation groups in Norway called on the Stockholm government to, in effect, grant the animal political asylum.

The pack to which Martin belonged was accused of killing sheep in the south-eastern Norwegion region of Hedmark, and a cull was ordered.

Annette Toernqvist, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Environment Ministry, said: "Mr Martin is very much welcome in Sweden.

"Wolves move freely over the border between Sweden and Norway... and if he comes to Sweden he won't be killed because we don't have the same kind of hunt they have in Norway.

"He won't need a passport or anything."

The wolves were among those reintroduced to the region in a joint Swedish-Norwegian wolf re-population project in the 1990s.

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See also:

08 Mar 01 | Europe
Wounded wolf reignites cull row
11 Feb 01 | Europe
Snow hampers Norway wolf cull
10 Feb 01 | Europe
Wolf cull sparks howls of protest
24 Feb 00 | Europe
Bringing wolves back to Sweden
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