This file photo taken on June 18, 2015 shows European gray wolves on June 18, 2015 in the semi-wildlife animal park of Les Angles, southwestern France. / AFP / RAYMOND ROIG
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The French government announced Monday that it will allow the wolf population to grow 40 percent over the next five years, resisting pressure from farmers concerned about their flocks.A new strategy unveiled by the centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron will enable the number of wolves to grow to 500 by 2023 compared with an estimated 360 now.Damages paid out to farmers from the state for livestock killed by wolves rose to 3.2 million euros ($4 million) in 2016, up 60 percent compared with 2013 .Jean-Marc Landry, a wolf specialist, said one of the problems for the French government is that wolves are highly mobile and quick to move into new areas beyond the Alps.
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