This picture taken on June 17, 2011 shows a wolf (Canis Lupus) near the Russian border in Kuhmo, Finland. / AFP / Lehtikuva / Jussi Nukari
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Finnish hunters have been authorized to kill nearly 20 percent of the country's wolf population in a controversial trial cull that opens this weekend, aimed at managing stocks, officials said Thursday.No culls were authorized for eight years between 2007 and 2015 to protect the animal, after the European Commission accused Finland of breaching EU protection rules on the endangered species, resulting in widespread poaching in Finland.Poachers throughout the country's vast and remote forests had reduced the total wolf population to between 120 and 135 animals in 2013, from an estimated 250 to 300 in 2007 .The first trial cull was held in 2015 with 24 permits, and a total of 17 wolves were killed.
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