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More than 11,000 hunters in Norway have registered for licenses to shoot 16 wolves, according to The Guardian's Elisabeth Ulven, making them the most sought-after animal in the country's hunting season.

Wolf hunting in Norway is controversial; the animals nearly went extinct in southern Scandinavia until a hunting ban was imposed in the 1970s, according to the BBC. But at some point (the BBC does not say when), the ban was lifted. In 2001, the Norwegian Government said wolf packs were growing too fast and blamed them for killing more than 600 sheep the previous year.

It's not clear how functional the hunt is now; in April, five men were sentenced to prison for illegally trapping wolves in what Reuters said was "an unprecedented environmental crackdown." Ulven says there are now likely fewer than 30 wolves living in the wild in Norway.

She writes that the hunt is now "viewed as a thrill" — and adds it is, "definitely a male domain." Fewer than 500 women have registered for this year’s hunt, she said, although she noted their ranks do appear to be growing.

Meanwhile, just under 11,000 Norwegians have registered to kill 18 bears and 141 wolverines, she says.


Those outsized numbers dwarf the hunting registrations in Florida, where just 3,778 bear permits were sold, although the kills were much larger — 298 bears were confirmed dead after just two days' worth of hunting. That hunt sparked heated debate about conservation versus animal cruelty.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.