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Quebec Innu hunters who killed caribou in the Labrador wilderness over the last week insist their actions have not jeopardized a herd that government officials and conservationists say is at risk of extinction.
A group of 53 Quebec Innu hunters crossed the Labrador border last week and killed about 40 caribou that biologists and the Newfoundland and Labrador government said belong to the Joir River herd. Officials said the herd contained only 100 animals, which are protected under the Endangered Species Act.
But Christiane Lalo, chief of the Pakuashipi Innu band, disputes that the animals are endangered. Indeed, Innu elders claim the herd's numbers are 20 times higher than what government officials say.