There are a lot of incidents being brought up prior to this, with the wolves (all neutered, bottle-raised males, I think six or eight of them) being aggressive to both keepers and visitors on occasion.
To give you the details: Kolmården is the biggest zoo in Scandinavia, and one of the things they were famous for was their wolf interaction program, when visitors could go in to the wolves. It sure helped to change a lot of people's mind about the wolves (they are still being hunted like witches in Sweden and the rest of Scandinava), but it does not seem it was handled very professionally.
I remember just a couple of months before the fatal incident, when a fifteen year old girl was bitten in her thigh by one of the wolves - the thing is she was afraid of DOGS, so for some stupid reason she or her family/friends got the idea she should practice on wolves? They picked up on her fear and bit her.
There WERE safety regulations. You were not allowed to have any food in your hands or pockets, and if a wolf grabbed say a scarf or something else you had hanging, you simply had to let it go, you'd never get it back. So keepers sure had no "control" if you will, of the wolves. What's mind-boggling to me is how they let a teenage girl with dog phobia go in there.
As for the fatal incident itself, not much was revealed. This was a 30 year old woman who was going in, alone and unarmed (standard procedure), to feed the pack of wolves she had known since puppyhood. The only safety protocol was a com radio to check in with every twenty minutes. Plenty of time for things to happen. It was when she did not check in that her lifeless body was discovered in the pen. The media was like I said, very quiet about the details, and I don't know how bad her injuries were.
It's reported she was feeling weak prior to the incident - difficult to keep her balance, dizziness, and so on, and that a weakness like this might trigger a predatory response in the wolves. I've long thought that simply stumbling over, near a pack of wolves in a feeding frenzy, would be a death sentence. And now we know she was not feeling well.
Some other incidents, written right now during the court proceedings and quickly translated by me:
The 7th of May 2011 one of the wolf guides was victim to an attack while visiting the wolves in the pen. In the raport it's described how all wolves were circling the keeper who had ended up on the ground. Farkas, the leader wolf shows a clear aggressive behavior towards the keeper.
"It's starting to really get out of hand", she writes. "Now they are so aggressive it's starting to get really unpleasant."
The keeper also describes how she, despite being alone, lacked communication devices.
And this one is just idiotic behavior from a visitor, who should not have been allowed in there in the first place (and I think it is the previously mentioned teenager):
The year afterwards, 2012, about two months before the fatal attack, the next incident is reported. A visitor becomes afraid of the wolves and screams and waves her arms. Her behavior triggers the wolves who bites her leg. One of the bites is so serious that the visitor has to be taken to hospital.
The keeper who was killed by wolves wrote herself a report on the 5th of May 2012. In the report she describes how one of the wolves bites a visitor in the arm.
They describe minor incidents, like one (said to be unreported) where a keeper was scratched in the face so she got "stripes in the face" (same has happened to be by my dog).
One keeper describes how one of the wolves, Volk, has changed his behavior and how he starts going after her clothes. "We were both a bit surprised", the keeper writes.
Well this one seems to me like obvious idiocy...
One reason for the keepers being alone in the pen is that it's been part of their work tast to feed the wolves who have a harder time claiming their place in the pack. They have then hidden meat in bags under their jackets to make sure the more dominant wolves don't take the meat from the subdominant. The wolves have on several occasions pulled in the keeper's clothing.
Banning visitors from having any food in their pockets was a good rule. So why on Earth did the keepers do something so stupid?
Prosecutor Linda Schön reads up a long row of different incidents. She's trying to paint the picture that it's been messy with the wolves in the pen. They have often lunged for keepers and visitors and been ripping in clothes. The guides write of how they feel discomfort with some of the wolves.
It is also very clear that the keepers were often alone with the wolves.
Of course the vast majority of interactions (30+ years) were perfectly safe and nothing happened, but the way they treated the wolves seemed reckless and like this was a tragedy waiting to happen.
But I want to hear from people who actually have experience with wolves and/or HC wolfdogs - what do you think about this?
There are plenty of videos of interactions on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... %C3%A5rden