It’s official – Estonia has a national animal now; the grey wolf beat competition by the beaver, the badger, the fox, the hedgehog and the roe deer in a contest.

The wolf was “elected” by several local organisations, such as the Estonian Nature Society, the Estonian Natural History Museum and Tallinn Zoo. “Wolf is a natural part of our environment and leaves no one indifferent,” Marju Kõivupuu, an Estonian folklorist, told the country’s public broadcaster ERR. “The wolf is one of the most popular animals in our folk tales, there are over 500 names and stories written down about this animal.”

The decision-makers said in a statement that the wolf was a “symbol of wild and untouched nature”. “Our bogs and forest massifs are sometimes also pointedly called ‘wolf lands’. There is probably no other animal in this region that has influenced the local language and culture as much as the wolf.”

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