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STOCKHOLM – (AFP) – Sweden’s bear hunting season opened Tuesday, with hunters allowed to kill 312 bears this year so as to keep the population in check, hunting officials said.
“We want to keep the bear population at a reasonable level,” a spokeswoman for the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management, Christina Nilson Dag, told AFP.
According to bear researcher Jonas Kindberg there are around 3,000 bears in Sweden.
“The bear population hasn’t been this big for a very long time, possibly a few hundred years,” he told AFP.
“There are a few too many bears in some regions (of the country), and our aim is to reduce the populations there a bit,” he added.
The bear hunting season lasts until October 15.
Hunting is a popular sport in Sweden, where there are almost 300,000 hunters.
About a dozen bears were killed on Tuesday, according to the National Veterinary Institute.