Russia is planning to allow tourists to pay to hunt wolves
The aim is to fund a cull which is too expensive for the cash-strapped authorities in Yakutia, the country's largest and coldest region in eastern Siberia.
The wolves are blamed for killing more than 9,000 reindeer and 500-plus horses each year costing £2million a year to nomadic farmers living in some of the world's harshest conditions.
Rich Western and Chinese tourists will be flown over wolf packs, and allowed to take pot shots from small helicopters.
They will then be permitted to keep the pelts of wolves they slaughter, according to the plan.
We already have tourists, local and some from abroad, who are willing to pay $10,000 (£8,200) for hunting one wolf
Viktor Fedorov – MP
They will be charged £8,200 for each wolf they shoot with another £4,200 for transportation, accommodation and food.
If they shoot any other animal from the sky, they will pay a £16,500 fine.
The scheme is the brainchild of local MP Viktor Fedorov who said 400 wolves a year out of the region's population of 12,000 could be shot by tourist hunters.
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"We already have tourists, local and some from abroad, who are willing to pay $10,000 (£8,200) for hunting one wolf," he said.
He claimed the existing system for paying local hunters to kill wolves and the occasional use of giant helicopters was not effective.
"This is like shooting sparrows from a cannon," he said.
If tourists shoot any other animal they will be fined £16,500
His scheme would "put an end to the wolf problem", he told The Siberian Times.
The plan is under consideration in diamond-rich Yakutia – also known as the Sakha Republic – but is likely to require a law change.
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