Greater demand for wild game has created a black market for gangs of poachers in Sweden who hunt the animals under the cover of darkness.
Newspaper Dagens Nyheter describes groups who drive through forested areas and use night-vision technology to find and shoot deer and wild boar.
A consultant from the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management told the newspaper that this illegal hunting is a new trend.
The association expects the number of illegal hunts to increase because it is lucrative and the risk of discovery is low.
Until now, most of the cases have occurred in the area around Mälaren, Sweden’s largest lake, and in Skåne county in the south.
The increased demand for wild game is chalked up to growing interest in organic food sources, for one. The meat is often sold on the web or to unscrupulous restaurants.
Related stories from the North:
Canada: Yukon, Canada to review roadside hunting, CBC News
Finland: Profile of poachers changing say Finnish police, Yle News
Sweden: Swedish wolves threatened by poachers, Radio Sweden